3 Reasons Why Marvel Should Recast the Black Panther.
Tragically the world lost Chadwick Boseman and the future of the character is unknown. With many options available here we will look at why recasting is a good choice.
Chadwick Boseman did a stupendous job at bringing T'Challa, King of Wakanda, to life on the big screen. Tragically, he lost his battle with colon cancer and fans are divided as to what should happen now. The options range from promoting Shuri to the new Black Panther, much like how the character took the mantle up for a time in the comics, to recasting a new actor to portray T'Challa and even some have suggested to leave Wakanda for good.
This article is not saying definitively that a recasting needs to happen, as that decision lands with he heads over at Marvel HQ. But, many seem heavily opposed to the idea of recasting the character. Here we will just look at why recasting is not a bad thing and hopefully allow some to see why it is a good thing if Marvel go down that route.
Marvel's Plan for the MCU
One thing any MCU fan will tell you is that Marvel plays the long game with their stories. They have created almost an art-form of weaving hidden elements between their movies that play out as plots in later films. With the third phase of films finished, Marvel have a prime opportunity to realign their story with a replacement for Black Panther, but with no one outside of Marvel knowing the plan, there could have been some nuggets planted for T'Challa we do not know about yet.
It was pretty clear he would have been a member of a new team of Avengers and fans have been arguing who would be running the team? Fans have been saying for a while, T'Challa is actually a great candidate for team leader. Others have speculated the plan may be for Black Panther to act as the leader when forming the battle plan and strategy and for Captain Marvel to be the leader when in the field. That would mimic the leadership dynamics used in the animated series Avengers Assemble. It would also be great representation for Marvel having a black hero and female hero being the new leaders of the team.
There have also been hints of Namor for years in the MCU. With Okoye having no concern for the undersea earthquake mentioned in Avengers: Endgame, was Wakanda set to be blamed by the King of the Sea for the devastation to his kingdom? This would make T'Challa an integral part of a plan for introducing more Marvel Royalty. The simple fact is, these things we do not know as none of us are in on the next 5-10 year plan at Marvel. T'Challa could be integral to their plan and not recasting the character could derail their plans and leave plot-threads that were planned to never come.
The Queen Must Reign
While Namor has been hinted at, one thing fan know is the X-Men are arriving in the MCU in the near future. Fan have speculated that Storm was set to be the first to arrive in Black Panther 2. While it may seem like if they simply remove T'Challa from the MCU it would have little effect, Storm is proof it would. In the comics T'Challa and Storm are linked in the past, present and future, which means without T'Challa, Storm suddenly sees drastic changes.
One of Storm's greatest feats in the comics is the sheer amount of titles she has collected through the decades, honestly very few have had more than her. When she added the title of Queen, her and T'Challa truly represented the black community in a way rarely seen by the masses before. The closest the masses had gotten until now was Eddie Murphy in Coming to America. When the pair united in marriage it was such a major event, Uatu the Watcher even appeared to witness their marriage. For none comic book fans, this is massive, this guy only shows up when an event that will alter the universe occurs.
As husband and wife, they were the ultimate power couple in the comics. Their influence and power were pretty unmatched. With the cry for greater representation for the black community in a positive light, how could you not want to see this matrimony occur within the MCU. A live-action T'Challa and Queen Ororo would do nothing but good, but without recasting T'Challa, it is a story willed with positive representation you would never get to see.
It's for the Kids, not the Adults
Yes, the MCU is designed for all to enjoy. But one major thing that sets it apart is the appeal it has to younger audiences compared to its competitors over at DC. It is what some argue as the success factor behind the MCU, as their films can be enjoyed by all. Unlike a DC film such as Batman Begins, which you would not sit your 5 year old son down to watch. Children have been gaining heroes to admire for over 12 years from the MCU, but Black Panther was special.
Black Panther appealed especially to young black boys, which is phenomenal as far as representation goes. This gave them the rare opportunity to witness a hero they could completely identify with, instead of having to reimagine the white heroes the dominate. It was one of the criticisms Disney have received for their Disney Princesses, due to the sheer lack of diversity. Often child of ethnicity away from white, have to watch main characters of a different ethnicity to themselves to admire. While it is still miles off from being equal, it has gotten better in more recent year.
The other factor to remember is that Chadwick Boseman himself knew the children idolised the character he was portraying. That is key here, people are forgetting that Chadwick was his own separate person and given how much the character he portrayed meant to the children, you can see him agreeing with them continuing the legacy with a new actor. With the outspoken voice on social media being primarily adults, you have to ask yourself, is it right for the adults to take the hero away from the children by pleading for them not to recast him?
Let the Legacy He Started Live On
All-in-all the possibilities are endless as to what may happen from here. However, keep in mind that if they recast T'Challa with a new actor, there are plus sides to this. It is also worth remembering that Marvel and the actor they choose will both be consciously aware of how much the character means to so many. With Marvel constantly nailing the actors they choose, it is worth keeping faith that if we get a new T'Challa it will be a continuation of Chadwick's legacy as a character and not out of disrespect. As Black Panther says, "Wakanda Forever" meaning Chadwick's memory will never die regardless of what happens.
What do you think will happen when it comes to Black Panther? Are you open to a new actor taking the mantle or would you rather they have an existing character become the new Black Panther?