The Loud Move To #RecastTChalla In ‘Black Panther’

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A small but enthusiastic group Black Panther fans continue to call on Marvel to recast the title role after Chadwick Boseman’s unexpected death, but others are wary of the motivations behind the #RecastTChalla movement.

The trailer of the movie Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which comes out November 11, has confirmed what most of us thought: Boseman’s T’Challa has been murdered. The film will follow as the nation of Wakanda, still reeling from the death of its king, fends off an invasion and crowns a new Black Panther.

For some, it was a painful reminder that T’Challa’s brief reign as the only black superhero lead in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has officially come to a premature end.

Jamie Broadnax was at San Diego Comic-Con when the trailer came out this weekend. She grabbed her phone and rushed to Twitter to update her followers on the news.

“When I tweeted it live, I saw some comments in response to the trailer,” she told The Daily Beast. “People were upset that the rescheduling didn’t go through.”

Shortly after the trailer appeared online, the hashtag #RecastTChalla started trending. Some asked the studio to reconsider killing the character, while others accused them of simply not wanting to see a woman — either T’Challa’s love interest Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) or his sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) — the mantle of the deceased king.

This non-canonical casting call is not new. Black Panther was a huge movie event that proved that audiences are eager for black superhero movies, especially good ones. It broke box office records and became the first superhero film to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. In August 2020, Boseman passed away after a private battle with colon cancer that began in 2016, leaving longtime Marvel fans and recent converts wondering about the future of the franchise without his charismatic leadership.

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Boseman had become synonymous with T’Challa after playing him in other Marvel properties, including the Disney+ series What if…? The actor was quickly canonized in popular culture, making it even more difficult for Marvel Studios and its owner, Disney. Parents posted photos of crying children next to Black Panther action figures as they perform Wakanda’s signature cross-armed salute. The loss of a newly minted superstar with a cultural phenomenon like Black Panther behind him resonated around the world.

In December of that year, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced that T’Challa would not be recast.

“They have not put any conditions on that,” says freelance film critic Emmanuel Noisette. “They just said, we’re not going to rearrange. I said, ‘Does that mean you’re going to put him in the background, or are you really going to kill him?’”

Noisette began leading the crusade to get Marvel to recast the role. The point is not to tarnish Boseman’s legacy, he argues, but to honor it. He launched the campaign for #RecastTChalla in April 2021. A petition on Change.org has since garnered more than 60,000 signatures, even while Marvel, Disney and director Ryan Coogler are silent on the subject. (No one responded to requests for comment from The Daily Beast.)

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“The best we can do is continue his work. [Boseman’s] four years of fighting cancer. He didn’t have to go to work to give us more T’Challa. He could have spent time with his family, rested, but this is what he wanted,” he reasons. “The better way to honor his memory and preserve his legacy is to preserve T’Challa’s portrayal.”

The Chicago-based critic believes Boseman would have wanted this himself, citing a text he allegedly sent to journalist and former CNN contributor Roland Martin. Martin said Boseman said to him, “I want them to see the part and not me. That’s the actor’s job. It’s not about me, it’s about the part, and people remember the part and what you do with it.” did.”

In December, Derrick Boseman told TMZ that his famous brother had wished the role had gone to someone else, explaining that it’s important for black guys across the country to see a black king lead a summer blockbuster.

Noisette Claims The MCU Has Already Made Black Panther Dirty, With The Hero “Dusting” In Avengers: Infinity War after nearly dying in the first Black Panther movie.

“It was literally made for black representation,” Noisette says. “Something so rich, something so symbolic, in a character – to me it’s just a travesty to wait a few years to get him on screen and take him and soil his legacy with death.”

He was literally made for black representation. Something so rich, something so symbolic, in a character – to me it’s just a mockery to wait a few years to get him on screen and take him away and soil his legacy with death.

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some fans say they don’t want the pain of Boseman’s death reflected in the Afrofuturistic fantasy world of Black Panther. others find the discourse surrounding T’Challa’s reshuffle tinged with misogyny. Some Twitter users have even pointed to particularly sexist and misguided comments pointing to a Marvel and Disney conspiracy to expose or portray black men as absent.

“Black men aren’t being erased from the main cast? Are you sure? They didn’t even cast new brothers to balance it out, they just added 2 new sisters and brown people,” read one tweetreferring to the casting of Michaela Coel, Dominique Thorne and Tenoch Huerta in Wakanda forever.

Noisette has no illusions that Wakanda forever will be tampered with late in the game, but with the multiverse becoming an increasingly prominent mechanism within the MCU, he hopes the studio finds a way to bring back the much-loved lead character.

Broadnax, who spoke to Noisette about this in a recent episode of her podcast, says her views on the matter have evolved.

“I am now convinced that Marvel knows what they are doing,” she says. “Whether it’s going to happen in Black Panther 3 or 4, I believe that there will be a reshuffle. But hey, I’m not one of those people who think this movie is doomed to fail because they didn’t get what they wanted.”