Anthony Mackie says "nobody" could replace his Avengers co-star Chadwick Boseman as Marvel's Black Panther. In December, Marvel Studios confirmed it would not recast Boseman's role in Black Panther II after the King T'Challa actor died in August at the age of 43. Boseman starred opposite Mackie in his first Marvel movie as the Wakandan warrior, 2016's Captain America: Civil War, before leading the character's first standalone film in 2018's Black Panther. Mackie would reunite with Boseman twice more in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War and 2019's Avengers: Endgame, which was to be Boseman's final appearance as the character before Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed the actor recorded multiple episodes of the upcoming animated series What If...?
"You can't recast it," the Falcon and Winter Soldier star told Jemele Hill about Boseman's role as T'Challa. "I mean, he did that role in a way it'll never be done again. And I would hate for an actor to have to pick up the baton that he left behind because there's no question he was a dynamic figure and an amazing actor. And just looking at the reaction to Black Panther, there's nobody that could bring the grace to that role that he did. So I wouldn't want to see Anthony Mackie as Black Panther; that would be awful."
At Disney Investor Day in December, Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige confirmed Marvel would not recast Boseman's T'Challa because the late actor's portrayal "is iconic and transcends any iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel's past."
"It's for that reason that we will not recast the character," Feige said at the time. "However, to honor the legacy that Chad helped us build, we want to continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film."
It's believed T'Challa's younger sister, Wakandan princess Shuri (Letitia Wright), could inherit the mantle of Black Panther. Ryan Coogler returns to direct the sequel with returning Black Panther stars Wright, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Martin Freeman, and Angela Bassett.
In February, Marvel announced a Coogler-produced kingdom of Wakanda spin-off series that will air on Disney+. Black Panther II is currently set to open only in theaters on July 8, 2022.
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