Marvel knows what they’re doing, that’s for sure. Their big swing, launching and then uniting a collection of separate franchises into one huge, serialized story was both an unprecedented undertaking and an unprecedentedly successful one. They’ve earned audiences’ trust, even despite the occasional misstep.
One of the many elements they’ve excelled in during the past 10+ years is casting. They’ve done a fantastic job of pairing the right actors with the right characters, from RDJ as Tony Stark and Chris Evans as Steve Rogers to Jeff Goldblum as the Collector and Vin Diesel as Groot.
But of all their casting choices, Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa may have been the biggest home run of all. The actor’s natural dignity and strength were a perfect match for the King of Wakanda, and that’s what makes the future of Black Panther, as a character and a franchise, so fragile right now. Marvel has opted not to recast the role, instead taking the franchise in a different direction, one that won’t be seen until Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever hits theaters. Not everyone is happy about this.
Fans have responded to a petition launched by film critic Emmanuel “E-Man” Noisette to recast the role of T’Challa. The petition states: “This is a call for the President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige, Co-President Louis D’Esposito, and Writer/Director Ryan Coogler to reconsider their decision, and recast the role of “T’Challa” in the Black Panther franchise,” and it’s very close to its goal.
Help us reach our new goal of 45K signatures. Chadwick worked far too hard to bring King T’Challa to LIFE for @MarvelStudios to kill him off prematurely. Let’s make both Chadwick & T’Challa the beginning of a legend and not the end of one. #RecastTChallahttps://t.co/tX4l8HeMlT
— E-Man’s Movie Reviews – #RecastTChalla (@EmansReviews) November 29, 2021
The petition has a goal of 45,000 signatures – at which point it will reach the upper echelon of petitions on Change.org – and it is less than 500 away. Apparently, Boseman’s own brother is on board.
According to TMZ, Derrik Boseman supports the petition to recast T’Challa, and he thinks his brother would too, in the name of maintaining the powerful character’s role as a role model for black children everywhere.
It seems unlikely that the MCU will change their minds, but there’s still time. Perhaps the petition will reach Kevin Feige…