Following Chadwick Boseman’s death in August, many fans asked the role of King T’Challa not be recast in Black Panther 2. During Disney’s Investor Day event on Dec. 10, Marvel confirmed Boseman would not be replaced with another actor, and acknowledged his devastating death. “Chadwick Boseman was an immensely talented actor and an inspirational individual who affected all of our lives professionally and personally,” said Marvel president Kevin Feige. “His portrayal of T’Challa the Black Panther is iconic and transcends iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past.”

Feige continued, “To honor the legacy that Chad helped us build through his portrayal of the king of Wakanda, we want to continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film.” Disney did not provide any other details about the Black Panther sequel, which is set to be released on July 8, 2022.

On Aug. 28, the 43-year-old actor’s Twitter account confirmed his death after a four-year battle with colon cancer. He’s remembered for several important and memorable roles, including Thurgood Marshall in Marshall, Jackie Robinson in 42, and Stormin’ Norman Earl Holloway in Da 5 Bloods, and, of course, for his time as T’Challa/Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Boseman first appeared in the MCU during Captain America: Civil War before stepping into the coveted suit for Black Panther. The Ryan Coogler-directed film shattered box-office records and ushered in a much-needed standard of onscreen representation in the superhero world.

Unsurprisingly, the Black Panther sequel was set into motion as part of Marvel’s phase four, in which Boseman was expected to return as the lead. However, after news of Boseman’s death, fans requested the role of King T’Challa not be recast. Black Panther viewers hoped the MCU wouldn’t replace Boseman with another actor, and instead suggested Letitia Wright’s Shuri become the leader of Wakanda.

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