Chadwick Boseman’s sudden death continues to be one of the most shocking and heartbreaking moments in a year overflowing with them. Many fans have wondered if the Marvel Cinematic Universe would simply retire the character or move on without much acknowledgment. There have been many rumors flying around, but a new scoop seems to confirm the direction that Marvel plans to go with the beloved character.
Mikey Sutton of Geekosity is reporting that Marvel Studios is currently planning to pass the mantle of Black Panther from Chadwick Boseman to Letitia Wright, the actress that plays T’Challa’s sister, Shuri. It’s the move that has seemed the most obvious for the franchise. Fans have already been imagining what Shuri would look like as Black Panther. If there is a decision that seems like it would go over well with fans, it’s exactly this.
The real issue that comes into play is how to handle the passage of Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa. Disney had a very similar problem to solve after the death of Carrie Fisher in Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker. In that film, they decided to use archival footage and body doubles to stand in for Carrie Fisher, and the result was admittedly mixed. Plus, the movie still had to kill off the character of Princess Leia, and that was always going to be a hard pill to swallow no matter how it played out.
The assumption is that the same tactic would be used to bring Chadwick Boseman to the screen for Black Panther 2. Of course, this would also depend on how Bosemna’s estate and family members feel about such usage. If they sign off on it, then we should at least respect their decision. Still, it’s an impossible situation to be put it. We don’t envy everyone at Disney and Marvel for the decisions they have to make regarding this. It undeniably sucks.
Still, making Shuri the heir to Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa makes sense both within the story of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and in the real world. Letitia Wright is excellent as the character and she would easily deliver a stellar performance as the lead superhero. Plus, Shuri is the next closest relative to T’Challa, so she would likely have the best claim to the throne of Wakanda and the title of Black Panther. There is even the opportunity to inject some gender dynamic commentary in the story by arguing for the first ruling queen of Wakanda.
To be fair, Sutton’s report does say that Marvel Studios has not made a final decision on having Letitia Wright step in for Chadwick Boseman, but rather that this is the option they are leaning towards the most. If they decide to go this route, it will obviously be a heartbreaking announcement but one that fans would likely understand in light of the awful passing of a true cinematic icon. We will have to wait and see if this becomes the official decision or not. If Black Panther 2 is going to happen, we are hoping this is the road it takes.