Film Critic Starts Petition To Recast T’Challa In The MCU Because The Character Is Important
Last August, when news that Chadwick Boseman died after a battle with cancer, many of us were in shock. When the news broke, my initial though was “this has to be wrong.” Since then we’ve recognized what a gift we were given in seeing Boseman’s performances both in Black Panther and his myriad other roles. Still, we fans weren’t the only ones shocked. Neither Disney nor Marvel knew about his diagnosis either. While they had to deal with the loss of a colleague and friend, they also had to worry about the sequel to Black Panther scheduled for release in early 2022. (Though this date has obviously shifted.) So, Marvel Studios leaders like Kevin Feige and Louis D’Esposito faced an impossible decision. Yet, a critic known as E-Man started a petition asking them to recast T’Challa in the MCU.
Marvel Studios has tried to honor the legacy of the actor in the wake of his passing. On his birthday, they debuted a Marvel Studios logo intro featuring only scenes of Boseman. This hearkens back to the opening they did for Captain Marvel honoring the late Stan Lee. Victoria Alonso also stated that they would not use VFX magic to create a double for Boseman in the film. The mantle of the Black Panther will be passed on to another character, most likely Letitia Wright’s Shuri or Danai Gurira’s Okoye. Yet, Emmanuel Noisette would like them to reconsider not recasting the role of T’Challa, comics’ first black superhero.
Image via Marvel Entertainment
In the video posted below, he explains his thinking and takes great pains to assure fans that recasting the role would actually honor the late actor and his legacy.
“While it’s understandable that they feel that they are doing the right thing to honor the memory of Chadwick Boseman, I believe that a better way to honor him is to actually recast the role…. To be clear, this petition is not a call to immediately recast the role. I believe that anyone that has been impacted by the passing of Chadwick Boseman deserves the time to heal before we make any definitive decisions with the role…. This is about allowing the character of T’Challa to continue the same way he has always existed for the 55 years’ worth of stories in the comics.”
He goes on to cite the recasting of a number of white superheroes, from Superman to Spider-Man to Batman. His worry is that in order to address Boseman’s absence they will kill off the T’Challa character. (Though, they could take a page from Batwoman and just leave the character’s fate ambiguous before eventually recasting.) Even before watching Noisette’s video, I felt the same way. Petition or no, they should recast T’Challa because that character needs to be in the MCU for a long time to come.
Marvel has had no problem recasting characters for other reasons. Both Terrence Howard and Ed Norton were originally cast as James Rhodes and Bruce Banner, respectively. While both of those actors are, thankfully, still alive and fine, they did recast them. This is obviously a very different circumstance, but kids who love T’Challa deserve to grow up with this character appearing in more than just a handful of Marvel Studios’ movies. Noisette cites Boseman’s own words when arguing that his characters were larger than himself. So, to that end, we would like to see T’Challa live on, even if it’s because another actor steps into the role.
You can sign the Change.org petition to recast T’Challa in the MCU yourself at this link.
What do you think? Should they recast T’Challa in the MCU and will the petition help? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Featured image via Marvel Studios
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.