UPDATED 12/10, 8:25 p.m. ET: Disney will not recast Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa for the upcoming Black Panther sequel.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed the decision during Disney's Investor Day on Thursday, according to IGN. Black Panther 2 is set to begin production in July 2021 and is expected to debut in 2022. There's still no word on how Marvel and Disney will handle Boseman's absence in the storyline; however, fans suspect Shuri (Letitia Wright) may become the next titular superhero, as she is said to have a much larger role in the second installment.
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Following Chadwick Boseman's death this past August, Marvel Studios EVP of Production Victoria Alonso has said the Black Panther sequel won't use a digital double for the late actor.
Speaking with Argentinian publication Clarin, Alonso said that there's "only one Chadwick and he's not with us." Marvel's parent company Disney has garnered criticism in the past for resurrecting actors for the usage of CG, most notably with Peter Cushing's Moff Tarkin in Rogue One. "Our king, unfortunately, has died in real life, not just in fiction, and we are taking a little time to see how we return to history and what we do to honor this chapter of what has happened to us that was so unexpected, so painful, so terrible, really."
Originally, Marvel Studios planned to shoot the sequel to Black Panther early next year for a release in 2022, and the company has yet to announce any delays. Ryan Coogler, writer and director on both the first film and its upcoming sequel, said that he was unaware that Boseman was battling cancer and his death came as a shock.
Letitia Wright, who starred alongside Boseman in the first film, recently said that it's too early to talk about plans for the sequel. "We're just still mourning Chad, so it's not something I even want to think about," she said. "The thought of doing it without him is kinda strange. We're just grieving at the moment, so it's trying to find the light in the midst of it."