Black Panther was a major hit for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) when it came out back in 2018. Ryan Coogler’s film was not just an important movie in the narrative sense, it also had a strong social impact and if anything was certain after that movie is that we’re going to get a sequel.
The movie starred Chadwick Boseman in the titular role of the Wakandan prince T’Challa, who is also the superhero Black Panther. Boseman’s performance was lauded by both critics and fans, and the young actor received several awards for his performance and even more nominations. He reprised his role in further MCU movies and it was absolutely certain that he would also reprise his role in the sequel.
But then it hit us – Chadwick Boseman, who had, unbeknownst to the public, been battling colon cancer for years, died on August 28, 2020. He was only 43 years old. His last role was that of Levee Green in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, for which he received several posthumous awards and nominations.
With Boseman dead, the role of T’Challa has lost its indisputable actor and Marvel has already informed us that T’Challa would not be recast, thus honoring Boseman’s legacy both in and outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Still, the role of Black Panther, a hereditary title awarded to the rulers of Wakanda, might get a new actor or actress in that role. Black Panther is certainly one of the most important black superheroes ever and that is why we have decided to bring you a list of 10 actors that could replace Chadwick Boseman in the role of the Black Panther.
1. Letitia Wright
Wright is probably your safest bet in terms of narrative continuity. With her, Feige and the MCU wouldn’t have to recast T’Challa, nor would they have to introduce a new character to the series, as Wright has already played Shuri, T’Challa’s sister. Fans have already speculated that Shuri would inherit the costume from her brother, thus becoming one of the most epic black superheroines ever, but that moment was expected to happen after at least a couple of T’Challa’s solo movies.
2. Michael B. Jordan
Michael B. Jordan was amazing as Eric Killmonger in the first Black Panther movie. He had a great narrative arc, he survived and the interpretation was simply amazing, which is why we all loved Jordan in the role and want to see him again. Now, as Boseman died, there is a certain possibility of Killmonger becoming the next Black Panther. It would take a bit of tweaking story-wise, but we’re sure that the writers could think of a good story for Jordan’s character.
M’Baku, who sided with T’Challa during the coup and later helped the Avengers, is another solid pick. Sure, he would be a bit bulkier and certainly less elegant than T’Challa, but Winston Duke could certainly pull off the role. He is a solid pick because he has experience in the universe, he is a pre-existing character and the writers would only have to come up with a good story for him.
4. Lupita Nyong’o
Although she is a less plausible pick, Nakia could also fill the role of the new Black Panther, thereby becoming another awesome superheroine. Still, Nyong’o is a less likely pick for the role because Nakia’s character is not really an ideal pick. The writers would have to alter her story a lot and that seems like too much trouble.
5. Danai Gurira
Danai Gurira is another familiar face that could potentially replace T’Challa as a female version of the Black Panther. She has the skills, she is connected to T’Challa and she has the zeal to fill the costume, that much is obvious. But, Okoye, Gurira’s character in the movie, doesn’t really fit the mold and although she is a better pick than Nakia, it’s still quite unlikely that the producers would pick her as Boseman’s replacement.
6. Donald Glover
Now, Donald Glover is our first pick when a new actor and a new character are the topics of conversation. Sure, Marvel could take some of the preexisting characters, but they could also introduce someone new. Donald Glover has already collaborated with Disney on Solo: A Star Wars Story, he is a recognizable face and we certainly think that he would be a good pick.
7. John David Washington
Denzel Washington’s son, who has proven his talents in BlacKkKlansman and Tenet is certainly a good pick. He has the looks, he has the acting skills and the talent, as well as being recognizable. In terms of quality, Washington would probably the best possible pick if Marvel decides to look for a new face and a new character.
8. LaKeith Stanfield
Another young talent, LaKeith Stanfield has recently proven his worth in Knives Out and Judas and the Black Messiah, which also earned him an Oscar nomination. Undeniably talented, Stanfield has become popular enough to step into the Black Panther costume should Marvel opt for a completely original character.
9. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Abdul-Mateen II is already playing Black Manta in the DCEU, but we’re quite certain that the actor, who has also received several awards and nominations for his role of Cal Abar in HBO’s Watchmen, wouldn’t turn down the role of Black Panther should Marvel offer it to him. If they do decide to pick him, they have our full support.
10. John Boyega
Another Star Wars alumnus, Boyega already has a history of collaborating with Disney, which might increase his chances for a role in the Black Panther sequel. He is recognizable and popular enough to step into the role, although, honestly, we have a hunch that he is not an overly likely candidate for the role at this point.
And that concludes our list. We hope you had fun reading it! We probably left out some important names, but that’s because we wanted you to have some fun while anticipating Boseman’s successor. Don’t forget to follow us for more of the same and looking forward to seeing you next time!