Recast Black Panther : Like the first film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever does not focus on T’Challa himself, but rather on his legacy in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Because the world is still processing the loss of Chadwick Boseman, producer Kevin Feige believes it was “too soon” to recast the iconic superhero.
As a follow-up to the original movie, Wakanda Forever promises to honor the memory of Boseman, a man who contributed greatly to the advancement of representation in the genre. Kevin Feige, producer at Marvel, said in a recent interview with Empire that the studio attempted to reflect on real-life events while taking a non-traditional approach to follow-up.
“It just felt like it was much too soon to recast. Stan Lee always said that Marvel represents the world outside your window. And we had talked about how, as extraordinary and fantastical as our characters and stories are, there’s a relatable and human element to everything we do,” Feige explained. “The world is still processing the loss of Chad. And Ryan [Coogler] poured that into the story.”
Wakanda Forever creates an impression of melancholy that is uncommon within the genre from the very first trailer. As opposed to fast-paced action scenes, director Ryan Coogler seems to have infused the story of the film with a sense of sadness regarding the death of the leading actor. It was the creators’ intention to work on a sequel that would have real significance on this meta-level.
“How could the legacy of Chadwick – and what he had done to help Wakanda and the Black Panther become these incredible, aspirational, iconic ideas – continue? That’s what it was all about,” Feige said.
However, in Coogler’s words, his original pitch for the sequel was actually “spiritually very similar” to the final film. The central idea is how you carry on in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, which became even more relevant during production. Lupita Nyong’o, who portrays Nakia in the sequel, described the director’s vision as “utterly truthful and beautiful.” She said: “By the end of it, I was in tears.”