Black Panther sequel is due in theaters almost exactly a year from today — but Black Panther isn’t in it. At least not the Black Panther who appeared in the first Black Panther or Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. Last August, Chadwick Boseman, who played T’Challa in those four films, died after a long, private battle with cancer.

Marvel made it clear they would not cast another actor as T’Challa in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in tribute to the power of Boseman’s performance and his impact as an actor. But that doesn’t preclude them perhaps finding a new T’Challa two, or five, or ten years down the line when Boseman’s tragic death isn’t quite as fresh in people’s minds.

According to Marvel’s Nate Moore, the chances of that happening, though, are basically zero. In a recent interview with The Ringer, he responded to a question about whether audiences might see T’Challa back in the MCU down by saying “I’m not hedging my bets, I’m being quite honest: You will not see T’Challa in the [Marvel Cinematic Universe].” He added:

We couldn’t do it. I will say when Chad passed, it was a real conversation we had with Coogler about what do we do. And it was a fast conversation; it wasn’t weeks. It was minutes of we have to figure out how to move this franchise on without that character. Because I think we all feel so much of T’Challa in the MCU on the screen, not in comics, is tied to Chadwick’s performance, is what he brought to that role, both on and off screen I would argue.

Moore also said that “as hard as it is narratively to figure out what to do” they never considered recasting T’Challa in the sequel. We’ll see who becomes the new Black Panther when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens in theaters on November 11, 2022. You can see Moore’s full answer to the question below.

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