Chadwick Boseman fans are mourning the actor’s tragic death, which was announced Friday, following his battle with colon cancer.
The South Carolina-born actor died at 43, leaving behind a loyal fandom, thanks to his historic role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Fans have taken to social media in the wake of Boseman’s death, urging Marvel not to recast Boseman’s leading role of T’Challa, and retire the Black Panther character out of respect.
It comes after the MCU recast Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk, following Edward Norton’s turn in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.
They also reassigned Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes/War Machine to Don Cheadle, after Terrence Howard originated the role in the 2008 blockbuster Iron Man.
One fan appealed to the Disney-owned studio in a now viral tweet: ‘Don’t recast that role @MarvelStudios. It’s done.’
Jeremy Conrad (who hosts the podcast MCU Cosmic) shared a similar sentiment: ‘Don’t recast. He can’t be replaced. #WakandaForever’
Another follower wrote: ‘Please retire the character out of respect, and have him live as a legend within the world. Like Universal did with Paul Walker in Fast & Furious. Please please please, don’t recast this icon.’
While many seem to be in agreement that the character should be retired, some have also suggested passing on the Black Panther title to another fan favorite.
One person posted: ‘If Marvel chooses to continue the Black Panther series, don’t recast T’Challa, pass the title to Shuri, just my opinion.’
Portrayed by Letitia Wright, Shuri is the younger sister of T’Challa, and the innovative scientist behind much of Wakanda’s advanced technology, making her a shoo-in.
Before his untimely death, Boseman had signed on to lead the upcoming Black Panther 2, which is set to premiered on May 6, 2022.
But as production had not yet begun on the sequel, it’s unclear what direction returning writer/director Ryan Coogler plans to take.
Boseman still might make one more appearance as T’Challa in the upcoming Disney+ animated series What If, which is set to premiere in 2021.
Although it’s unknown if Boseman recorded his voice work for the project, several other MCU stars are set to appear in the show.
The first Black Panther premiered in January of 2018 and was an unabashed success among critics and box offices, raking in $1.347billion globally, becoming the highest-grossing solo superhero film.
It also answered a long-overdue need for representation in cinema, becoming the first Black-led film in the MCU’s then 18 titles.
Boseman landed an NAACP Image Award for his performance in the trailblazing entry to the superhero franchise.
His death was confirmed Friday, August 28, after he was diagnosed in 2016 with stage III colon cancer, which he quietly battled until it progressed to stage IV.
A statement from his family on Twitter read: ‘A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much.
‘From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.’
The statement continued: ‘It was the honor of his career to bring T’Challa to life in Black Panther.’