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Chadwick Boseman has been at the heart of every Black Panther story in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It seems fitting that after his tragic death in August 2020, the franchise has chosen to keep Boseman’s legacy at the center of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Fans have seen Boseman as T’Challa grow from a grieving son, fueled by rage Captain America: Civil Warinto a powerful and humble King in his record-breaking solo movie Black Panther.
The integral role that Boseman has played to the success of Black Panther and the wider MCU in Avengers: Infinity War spirit Endgamewas something that Marvel boss Kevin Feige decided couldn’t be replaced.
Related: Black Panther‘s Ryan Coogler pays beautiful tribute to Chadwick Boseman
In an interview with EmpireFeige explained he and the late Stan Lee always wanted to humanise their superheroes and that includes their grief.
“It just felt like it was much too soon to recast,” Feige explained. “Stan Lee always said that Marvel represents the world outside your window.
“And we had talked about how, as extraordinary and fantastical as our characters and stories are, there’s a relatable and human element to everything we do.”
Instead, Ryan Coogler’s highly anticipated sequel will imitate real life and explore the profound loss of Boseman’s life through T’Challa.
Related: Black Panther 2 could bring back forgotten – and most interesting – Phase 4 element
Feige added: “The world is still processing the loss of Chad. And Ryan poured that into the story.”
Coogler and Feige worked together to find a way to keep the essence of what Boseman had created as the Black Panther, while passing the mantle on to a yet unknown character.
“The conversations were entirely about, yes, ‘What do we do next?'” Feige said. “And how could the legacy of Chadwick – and what he had done to help Wakanda and the Black Panther become these incredible, aspirational, iconic ideas – continue? That’s what it was all about.”
M’Baku actor Winston Duke said it was a “melancholic” experience shooting the sequel without Boseman.
Hey customs Variety: “There was no preparing for it. It was melancholic, to say the least… We all became really close, so you got to know him as a real person, got to understand him.
“It wasn’t like you’re looking at the aspirational person that a lot of [people idolise] – he was a real human being. Like, I know he’s a husband, I know he’s a brother, he’s all these things.”
He added: “You miss the person, you miss the jokes between takes, you miss the clowning around, the palling around, the punches… you miss that real human connection.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has a release date of November 11, 2022. The first movie is streaming on Disney+.