I haven’t really expressed my opinion on Marvel deciding not to replace T’Challa. It is a tough decision due to how iconic Chadwick Boseman’s portrayal of the character is. This is the problem for me as a black person. We waited 18 movies to see a black character serve as the lead in a MCU movie and now he is gone. With the loss of Chadwick our lead hero representation goes to 0. This is why representation matters so much. The loss of Chadwick Boseman is devastating and his portrayal of T’Challa and the Black Panther was iconic. I would recast T’Challa for future movies if it was me. I don’t think recasting would be offensive to his legacy. I actually think it would be honoring and carrying on the legacy that he started. Are they huge shoes to fill? Yes. But the black community deserves to have this character to a community that is so underrepresented. To me he was also more than just the Black Panther. His contributions in the arts transcend that character. It was very important to have a black king in mainstream movies that was also the leader of the most technologically advanced nation and the richest in the world. I feel that it is a disservice to Chadwick to just abandon that character. The mantle can be passed on to anyone but I would like to see a T’Challa in the future. My first cosplay was the Black Panther but I also cosplayed T’Challa because of what he represents. I am all for Shuri being passed the mantle but we only got one movie with T’Challa as a lead. The next T’Challa doesn’t have to be the Black Panther. There have been many iterations of Spider-Man, Superman and Batman that have been iconic in their own right. There have been two Jokers since Heath Ledger’s legendary performance in the Dark Knight. Did we really think there would never be another T’Challa?
I think knowing all the joy that Chadwick saw he brought to not only the black community but to the world that he would want the character to not be recast. He was willing to fight through his own sickness to bring us the character and was signed on with Marvel to do three Black Panther movies. Knowing how underrepresented black people are in Hollywood, especially in the super hero realm, I find it hard to believe that Chadwick wouldn’t want this iconic character that black men have to look up to removed from the MCU. All of his hard work and the role that he made famous could be used to uplift another black male character. I think it is a mistake to not recast this important black character that has the potential to be as popular as Captain America or Ironman. What if they recast another T’Challa from a parallel multiverse? I understand that he is very hard to replace but the black community deserves this representation. Marvel needs to bring in new black and brown lead characters immediately even if they choose not to recast T’Challa.