Bass Reeves: West of Hell artist David Williams is none too pleased with Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige for not recasting T’Challa following the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman in 2020.
In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, T’Challa dies off screen from an unnamed illness, and it doesn’t appear that Marvel Studios has any plans on recasting the character.
Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige explained the decision to not recast at Disney’s Investor Day 2020 presentation saying, “I wanted to acknowledge the devastating loss of a dear friend and member of the Marvel Studios family. Chadwick Boseman was an immensely talented actor and an inspirational individual, who affected all of our lives professionally and personally.”
“His portrayal of T’Challa, the Black Panther, is iconic and transcends any iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past. And it’s for that reason we will not recast the character,” he added.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever producer Nate Moore also told The Ringer in November of 2021, “I’m not hedging my bets, I’m being quite honest. You will not see T’Challa in the MCU 616 universe. We couldn’t do it.”
When Chad passed, it was a real conversation we had with [director Ryan] 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,” he explained.
The producer continued, “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.”
“So as hard as it is narratively to figure out what to do because it’s a big hole, at no point did we consider recasting him,” he stated.
Feige would also tell Empire back in September, “It just felt like it was much too soon to recast.”
He added, “Stan Lee always said that Marvel represents the world outside your window. And we had talked about how, as extraordinary and fantastical as our characters and stories are, there’s a relatable and human element to everything we do. The world is still processing the loss of Chad. And Ryan [Coogler] poured that into the story.”
Williams, whose Bass Reeves: West of Hell graphic novel is currently being crowdfunded on IndieGoGo, shared his thoughts on Marvel Studios not casting T’Challa on Twitter.
He wrote, “Not interested in any other version of Black Panther than T’Challa. Spider-Man, Hulk, Batman, Superman all had multiple actors to play them. Chadwick’s passing is no excuse for the character not to carry on. It’s disrespectful to black men you did this, Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige.”
A user responded to Williams writing, “It’s a woman’s world.Pinhead was a man. But in the new*Hellraiser*,Pinhead is a woman! (Can’t make that s**t up). Hulk can beat everyone in the world’s a**,but can’t touch Black Widow. The strongest Men in movies now ALWAYS get their a**es whooped by women. Sign O’the times…”
Williams replied, “‘Sign O’the times…’??? Nah… Crime O’the times.”
The artist went on to share a number of Black Panther pinups reinforcing his assertion that he is only interested in the T’Challa version of Black Panther.
He wrote, “Only T’Challa #BlackPanther.”
He then shared another pinup simply writing #BlackPanther.
What do you make of Williams’ comments regarding Marvel Studios’ decision to not recast T’Challa?