It’s been almost a year since the sad news broke out around the world that our Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman had sadly passed away. It’s a passing that still emotionally impacts me today.
We know now that the Black Panther sequel is currently filming, and it’s a movie that a lot of fans are nervously waiting for, seeing how they’re going to handle the mantle of the Black Panther moving forward.
The obvious candidate is Shuri. She does become the Black Panther in the comics. Letitia Wright is a great Shuri as well, and I think she would be an excellent choice. I do believe that she’ll take the mantle in the next movie, even despite the misinformed tweets she put that caused backlash.
The other choice people were calling for is Michael B Jordan to return to his role as Killmonger but in a “heroic” light instead of being a straight-up villain. After all, Killmonger’s intentions were fair, he just went about it the wrong way.
Then there’s the other option that a small minority of people believe the role of T’Challa should be recast. I’d like to throw my 2 pence in here and say absolutely not. Chadwick Boseman made the role of T’Challa, he embodied the character and really was the perfect cast for the role. I think even in the unlikely event Marvel would do this in the near future, any actor who would take the role would be scrutinized and live in the shadow of Chadwick forever.
I’ve seen people compare this situation to Heath Ledger’s Joker but this is completely different. There’s been Joker’s before Heath, and there are many people who would be great for the Joker role as there are many different versions of the character. We have to realize as well, if Heath never unfortunately passed, it’s very unlikely he would be playing the Joker in the current DCEU, the same way Christian Bale isn’t still Batman. It’s different universes. The MCU is one.
Moving on to the point, as I got a little sidetracked. M’Baku.
This is one of the unlikely options to take on the mantle. In the comics, he does become Man-Ape with similar abilities to that from the Heart-Shaped Herb and is also somewhat of a super-villain as well.
However, the MCU is known to not always follow the comics, and in this instance, it could be a good choice.
M’Baku has helped T’Challa on multiple occasions, including fighting against Killmonger, and Thanos, and the Black Order on two separate occasions. So, already the character M’Baku seems to be different from his comic counterpart.
M’Baku was offered the mantle in the first movie but declined the role in order to help T’Challa recover from his trial fight with Killmonger.
I understand that there isn’t a fantastic scenario to come out of this, but for me, personally and in my own opinion, M’Baku is my favorite choice. Winston Duke is fantastic, and I just love the actor in general.
I also know one of the counterarguments to this is that M’Baku doesn’t believe in technological advancements, but we don’t know if his mind is now in a different place as a result of what Thanos did, so there is that as well. Especially considering the Wakandan technology did hold the Black Order back in a huge way, which wouldn’t have been possible without the tech the Wakandan’s created.
I don’t mind which person takes the mantle, and even though it’s almost certain it will be Shuri, I am also okay with this. But I believe Winston Duke does have the mentality to keep the franchise going and can carry it after Chadwick.
As I mentioned, this is just my opinion and not a reflection of others. But I would like to get your thoughts, who would you prefer to take the mantle? Let me know down in the comments below.