Source: Marvel Studios/Disney
'Black Panther' Fans are Petitioning Marvel Studios to Recast T'Challa
A petition to honor Chadwick Boseman by recasting his role in the MCU has already accumulated thousands of signatures.
Earlier this year, Marvel Studios chief, Kevin Feige, announced the company had no intention of tasking an actor with replacing the late Chadwick Boseman in the upcoming sequel to Black Panther. Instead, Feige claimed the studio would expand the world of Wakanda, focusing on the other characters and "subcultures" of T-Challa's tech-savvy kingdom.
However, it appears there isn't exactly a consensus on the best way to honor Boseman and his role in the MCU. A new petition is asking Feige, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, and Marvel Studios to reconsider their narrative strategy. "If Marvel Studios removes T'Challa, it would be at the expense of the audiences (especially Black boys and men) who saw themselves in him. That also includes the millions of fans who were inspired by the character as well," reads the petition's call-to-action, which asks the studio to recast the role and continue T'Challa's story in Marvel's future film projects. The petition was created by film critic, E-Man, who appears in a video for his "#RecastTChalla campaign (see below.) "The number one way to kill a legend is to stop telling their story," says the writer in the campaign's accompanying clip.
And while the petition has already gained nearly 25,000 signatures, it's hard to believe this will sway the comic book giant in any particular direction. Black Panther 2 is on the release schedule for July 8, 2022 and is already shooting in Georgia, where it will remain even after drawing criticism for not relocating in protest of the state's recent passing of SB 202, a piece of legislation that places new restrictions on voting. Coogler addressed the calls for a Georgia boycott in a letter earlier this week. "When I was informed of the passage of SB202 in the state, and its ramifications for the state’s voters, I was profoundly disappointed," Coogler writes. "Having now spoken with voting rights activists in the state, I have come to understand that many of the people employed by my film, including all the local vendors and businesses we engage, are the very same people who will bear the brunt of SB202. For those reasons, I will not be engaging in a boycott of Georgia," Coogler added, explaining he would be using his time in the state to draw awareness to local organizations fighting to overturn the bill.
You can watch the #RecastTChalla campaign video below.