Just 24 hours after Marvel Studios released the first trailer for Black Panther Wakanda Forever, it surpassed 172 million views on YouTube. This alone illustrates the hunger for the next chapter in the Oscar-winning franchise, but also how fans of the series are eager to see T’Challa’s story come to an end.
This sombre and realistic tone is the perfect way to usher in Phase 5 of Disney’s billion-dollar blockbuster series before it really launches into chaos.
T’Challa – the King of Wakanda and alter-ego of the Black Panther – was first played by Chadwick Boseman in Captain America: Civil War, before reprising his role in the Black Panther movie, Avengers Infinity War and Avengers Endgame.
Tragedy struck in 2020 when it was announced that Boseman had succumbed to a secret bout of cancer, aged just 43.
The Hollywood star kept his illness from almost everyone in the industry, so his death was a profound shock to the community.
It has since been announced that Boseman’s character will not be recast or digitally recreated in Black Panther 2.
Meanwhile, reported “leaks” have suggested how the actor’s death will be addressed in the MCU.
A report from 2020 stated: “T’Challa’s passing will reflect the sad reality of how Boseman died, from a disease.”
It added that it is unclear whether T’Challa’s death will be cancer, but that is “the most likely scenario” as it would be “a way of honouring the actor, and acknowledging that everyone, even superheroes, can succumb to a real-life illness”. (Via BGR)
After a year of multiversal madness, this might be the most respectful and touching way to bring Phase 4 to an end.
As the report stated, this would be the most respectful way of honouring the actor who brought the hero to life in the first place.
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Peggy Carter, for one, was shown dying of extreme old age, while the same was hinted at for Steve Rogers himself.
But even Iron Man’s parents, Maria and Howard Stark, were later discovered to have been secretly murdered by the Winter Soldier in a flashback. And Loki has dodged death half-a-dozen times at this point.
By killing off T’Challa in a similar way to Boseman, in a realistic, unavoidable human tragedy, fans and viewers may be able to connect to that story a little better.
We have already seen the film slate for the MCU’s next few years on the big screen. So we know that some enormous, outrageous events are coming. But fans need some gravity in their storytelling.
Black Panther Wakanda Forever will likely spend a lot of time bringing T’Challa’s story to an end, in a respectful way that honours Boseman.
What’s more, the issue of the Black Panther mantle is still a hot topic for fans.
Many believe Shuri (Letitia Wright) will be taking over as the fabled hero. But could there be another character better suited for it?
Black Panther is available to watch on Disney Plus now.
Black Panther Wakanda Forever hits cinemas on November 11, 2022.