Several months after the death of Chadwick Boseman, it’s still unclear how Marvel will proceed with the sequel to Black PantherTheoretically, they could recast the role of T’Challa with a new actor, and otherwise continue as they had originally planned. Or they could have the fictional T’Challa pass away or retire somehow, and replace him with a new Black Panther — likely his sister Shuri, who has inherited the role of Black Panther in Marvel Comics at times.

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No matter what Marvel does, they will have to address Boseman’s death somehow. One way they won’t do it is through the use of some kind of digital or CGI double for the late Boseman. Asked about whether that was an option by Clarin (via TheWrap), Marvel Studios vice president Victoria Alonso said:

No. There’s only one Chadwick and he’s not with us. Our king, unfortunately, has died in real life, not just in fiction, and we are taking a little time to see how we return to history and what we do to honor this chapter of what has happened to us that was so unexpected, so painful, so terrible, really.

Black Panther 2 is scheduled to open in theaters on May 6, 2022. That date could change as every Marvel release date has in recent months because of continuing uncertainty about the coronavirus pandemic and the status of movie theaters. If it doesn’t, that is not a lot of time for a movie of Black Panther’s scale, if it’s going to be reconceived from scratch for a new hero. Expect to hear Marvel’s definitive plan about the future of Wakanda sooner rather than later.

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