Hearing that still gives me chills. This weekend we paid homage to Chadwick Boseman, by watching Black Panther. It’s remains an excellent stand-alone film. Even the fight choreography is excellent. More often than not, even in Marvel films, it’s a series of jerky-cam and confusion.
It was also sad knowing that the relatively young Mr. Boseman, who is SO full of life and talent in the movie, is no longer with us. I was very much looking forward to seeing him in a follow up Black Panther in 2022.
While his loss is unfortunate, I’ve seen a lot of “fans” calling for an end to Black Panther. That likely won’t happen for a number of reasons. The first, of course, is that Black Panther is a very marketable commodity. NBA franchises might retire a player’s jersey, but they don’t stop selling them to fans.
More than just cold, hard cash though is the fact that King T’Challa is more, bigger than, just one actor. Just like the fictional Wakanda, the idea is greater than the sum of its parts. There are precious few characters that can only be embodied by one performance, and for that we should be very grateful. Successive versions of wonderful characters embodied by new actors can entertain and enlighten countless generations. There’s been no end of James Bond, Lara Croft, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, etc.
The sudden loss of Boseman probably has more to do with the call for Marvel to not re-cast T'Chall/Black Panther than anything else. It is VERY soon to public consider moving on. It almost feels like a betrayal of that bright light that we've just lost. We should absolutely mourn his passing. Boseman was an amazing talent, seen, mentored, and supported by some of the biggest names in the business.
He is now, and forever will be, truly missed.
I’m sure there’s a solid case to be made for shelving the property—not to mention Marvel turning their backs on all that green stuff they’ve been raking in over the last twelve years—but I don’t think that’s the “right thing” to do here. Boseman’s legacy is bigger than just one character and one movie. He played Jackie Robinson, Thoth, Thurgood Marshall, and James Brown.
If the King of Wakanda can also be the Godfather of Soul, there are very good reasons why we should hear and see WAKANDA FOREVER!
Do you think T’Challa should be recast?
Why or why not?