The sudden death of Marvel star Chadwick Boseman caught the entire world off guard and as we now know resulted in plans for the Black Panther sequel becoming totally altered in a major way. Despite fan desire for the opposite, Marvel Studios was also quick to confirm that they wouldn't recast the role of T'Challa. As a result of this, and teased in the marketing for the sequel, a new character will be taking up the mantle of the Black Panther in the new movie. Speaking at the premiere of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, director Ryan Coogler opened up about their decision to make a new character the marvel hero, noting they were just following in the footsteps of how Chadwick lived his life.
"It's complicated, it's complicated," Coogler told Deadline. "What I will say, Chadwick was all about pushing things forward while being aware of took place behind him. That concept is kind of one of the things that I always hold in terms of lessons from him. He was also so so so brilliant at understanding moments, understanding the moment that he was in. So that's what I was trying to do, I was trying to channel him in terms of going through this process. Understanding that we had to keep moving forward even though we lost him in a physical sense. He was a giant of a man, the screen couldn't contain him. To watch his movies is to only know a piece of him. We felt so fortunate to know the whole guy and we're trying to honor him on this one."
Honoring Chadwick Boseman's legacy will be a major part of the new movie and its content. Not only did the costumes used in the film come from a place of paying tribute to him, but an original song for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's soundtrack will do the same. Titled "Lift Me Up" the song serves as a tribute to Chadwick Boseman and features performances by Tems and Rihanna with Ludwig Göransson and Ryan Coogler also credited as writers on the track.
"That is not the death of the Black Panther, that's the whole point," star Lupita Nyong'o recently told THR about Wakanda Forever. "It's laying to rest [T'Challa] and allowing for real life to inform the story of the movies. I know that there are all sorts of reasons why people want him to be recast, but I don't have the patience. I don't have the presence of mind, or I don't have the objectivity to argue with that. I don't. I'm very biased."
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will open in movie theaters on November 11.