Marvel's Casting Director Sarah Finn Defends Decision Against Recasting Black Panther After Chadwick Boseman's Death

Ever since fans got their first look at Robert Downey, Jr. in the role of Iron Man, almost nobody in Hollywood has been as consistently praised as Marvel's casting director, Sarah Finn. Working with filmmakers, Finn has helped crack the code for some of the most iconic characters in pop culture, and along the way, has helped transform a number of character actors into stars and stars into household names. With Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, though, Marvel and Finn had a challenge: how do you move forward without Chadwick Boseman, whose powerful and earnest performance as T'Challa totally defined the first film?

Marvel decided against replacing the actor, opting instead to rework the screenplay to set up a new Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And while not all fans were behind the move, Finn thinks it was the right thing.

"I think obviously, his passing was such a shock, and so sudden," Finn told The Hollywood Reporter at the Wakanda Forever premiere last night. "I did not have a role to play in whether they were going to keep the Black Panther in, that was Kevin Feige and Ryan Coogler and everyone else's decision, and I agree: there was no recasting Chadwick."

You can see her commnents below.

The film, which would originally have been about T'Challa's development as a monarch, had to take a hard turn when it was decided that Boseman would not be recast. It now deals heavily with the fallout from his death, not just from an emotional but also a plot perspective.

You can see the film's official synopsis below.

In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, according to the official synopsis, Queen Ramonda, Shuri, M'Baku, Okoye, and the Dora Milaje fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T'Challa's death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with Nakia and Everett Ross to forge a new path for their beloved kingdom.

Black Panther director Ryan Coogler returns to direct Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, based on a screenplay he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole. The film stars Letitia Wright as Shuri, Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoya, Winston Duke as M'Baku, Florence Kasumba as Ayo, Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams/Ironheart, Michaela Coel as Aneka, Tenoch Huerta as Namor, Martin Freeman as Everett Ross, and Angela Bassett as Ramonda.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will open in theaters on November 11th. You can get tickets now.