What will happen to T'Challa in the MCU?!

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Black Panther 2 is scheduled for a 2022 release date with Ryan Coogler returning as director. After the huge success of Black Panther, Marvel was poised to continue the trend before the devastating news of Chadwick Boseman’s death. Without the lead actor who brought the character of T’Challa to life, Marvel has a few choices on the table on how to continue the story of Black Panther.

Recast T’Challa

Now don’t freak out when I say this. Hear me out. Chadwick Boseman was the perfect T’Challa. But, we have to remember that T’Challa is a major player in the MCU. With Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Widow already out of the core Avengers Marvel is moving T’Challa front and center.

With his popularity, it was all but guaranteed we would be seeing a lot more of T’Challa in the future MCU films. A lot more. Marvel is known to plan their films ahead of time to make sure plot threads are far-reaching across multiple films. T’Challa is one of the main characters to carry on the next era of the Avengers.

In regards to the larger MCU, T’Challa would be in two more Black Panther solo films. Second, he would have possibly been in the next three Avengers team-up films. Finally, the character has a prominent tie to the X-Men character of Storm. Which is hugely important as we know that Marvel is planning to bring in the X-Men into the MCU in some way.

With a character like T’Challa, it would be a waste to lose such an important character people have come to love and respect. Of course, there are plenty of people out there who think to recast T’Challa would be a dishonor to Chadwick Boseman. I think they’re wrong.

Yes, it’s sad. Yes, it’s a tragedy he’s gone. But to lose such an influential and inspirational character as T’Challa I think would be a huge disrespect for the character and what he means to so many people in the world. I don’t think Boseman would have wanted the world to lose T’Challa.

Bear in mind, with COVID-19 already pushing back film releases back and Marvel having to recast, if they go that route, we’ll be lucky to get Black Panther 2 in 2022.

That’s two years away! If Marvel has to push things back or move some films around it might not be until 2023 that we get a Black Panther sequel. I think by then the world will be ready to see the character of T’Challa rise up again. Even though, he’s played by someone else.

Pass on the Mantle of Black Panther

I think it has always been Marvel’s plan to have Shuri become Black Panther. It happened in the comic books and Marvel’s long game has always been to replace the main Avengers with new faces.

Sam Wilson will be carrying on the mantle of Captain America, Yelena Belova for Black Widow, Kate Bishop for Hawkeye, Jennifer Walters for the Hulk, and Jane Foster for Thor.

Thus, it makes complete sense that Marvel would have Shuri assume the mantle of Black Panther after T’Challa. I think Marvel had plans for Shuri to take on the mantle of Black Panther well after the character of T’Challa had his three solo films and Avengers team-up films.

Obviously, because of the passing of Boseman, this might happen earlier than planned.

Marvel could:

Have T’Challa die offscreen and have Shuri take on the mantle of Black Panther in Black Panther 2. But this route would result in the loss of so much rich story-telling the T’Challa character brings into the MCU.

Or, continue on with their original plan by having the role of T’Challa recast as soon as Black Panther 2 and Shuri becoming Black Panther after the original trilogy and team-up films with T'Challa.

But there is a third option and I think this might be a good way for Marvel to buy more time and let people mourn the loss of Boseman. Marvel could have Shuri take on the mantle of Black Panther in Black Panther 2. Not because T’Challa is dead but because T’Challa is otherwise preoccupied somewhere else in the world.

He could be off somewhere Kenya helping an old friend which can be a great Easter egg for Storm. He could have mysteriously disappeared which would be a good Easter Egg leading up to the Secret Invasion storyline. The main point is that the character of T’Challa is alive but we won’t see him at all in Black Panther 2.

This way, Marvel is pushing back the newly cast role of T’Challa until Black Panther 3 which would probably come out around 2026. That would give the world more time to get used to the fact that T’Challa won’t be played by Boseman.

This way we get Shuri as Black Panther earlier than planned but then the character of T’Challa returns to finish off the o