Black Panther star Angela Bassett thinks Marvel Studios made the right choice by not recasting T'Challa following Chadwick Boseman's death. Boseman played T'Challain Black Panther, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. He died in 2020 from colon cancer, and his passing shocked even those close to him as he'd kept his illness secret. Since Black Panther is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a sequel to the film was already in the works when Boseman died, questions lingered about how Marvel Studios would handle the sudden loss. During the Disney investor presentation in December, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that the studio would neither recast Boseman's role nor recreate him using CGI.
"That's interesting. Well I had not thought about that idea," Bassett told Entertainment Tonight in regards to the possible use of CGI, "but of course it is Wakanda and they are, in terms of technology, they are so far ahead of the rest of the world that they would be able to bring some of that."
Speaking more broadly, Bassett said, "It's a tremendous loss but Kevin and the Marvel universe and Ryan [Coogler], the director, the writer from before, they are committed to telling [a story] and equally as much as we can, equally planned. So we are looking forward to that. Looking forward to what they come up with." She admits that the studio will "have to do a major pivot and they are still working on that now because none of us knew anything."
Of Boseman, Bassett said, "Our brother held it really close, really close to the chest, But his legacy, his loss, the love and appreciation that we have for who he was and what he shared with us cannot be [replaced]… It is missed and appreciated and cannot be duplicated. It's a tremendous honor and, yes, he is completely irreplaceable."
Bassett played T'Challa's mother, Queen Ramonda, in Black Panther. Following Boseman's death, Bassett went on social media to share memories of working with him on the film.
"We'd spent weeks prepping, working, sitting next to each other every morning in makeup chairs, preparing for the day together as mother and son. I am honored that we enjoyed that full circle experience. This young man's dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal. So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother…' thou aren't not dead but flown afar…'. All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince. #WakandaForever"
Black Panther is streaming now on Disney+. Black Panther 2 opens in theaters on July 8, 2022.