Call For Comments: Wakanda Forever and Replacing Deceased Actors

From Mav: So, I saw Black Panther: Wakanda Forever last week and without spoilers, it was basically everything I thought it would be. I enjoyed it a lot. Pretty much from the moment they announced they were still going to make the film, without recasting Chadwick Boseman, it was pretty clear that they were going to have deal with his absence in… more or less the way they did. And it also pretty clear that it was going to be very sad. In fact, my assumption when going to the film was that it would barely be a movie. I thought it would just be us all sitting in the theater watching a funeral and crying. I was good with that. But I’m also even happier to say that the film is so much more than that. I thought Boseman’s death was deftly handled and woven into the narrative of the overall MCU in the best and most respectful way. I enjoyed the film and I think others will too. I will say more about the movie, with spoilers on the episode.

That said, I’m also interested in the idea of what to do with franchises when a star has died out of them. Obviously with Black Panther, they’ve opted to kill off the character. However, at the same time the same studio has apparently opted to replace the deceased William Hurt with Harrison Ford as Thunderbolt Ross. When Carrie Fisher died, Star Wars producers decided to very awkwardly shoot around her death with cut scenes of Princess Leia and ultimately kill that character off early in the film. But Michael Gambon replaced Richard Harris as Dumbledore in Harry Potter movies immediately. TV has this problem, especially with soap operas where it’s quite common for characters to be recast even without actors dying. And there’s a similar issue with bands… how soon is too soon to replace Freddie Mercury in Queen or Lisa Left-Eye Lopes in TLC?

So that’s what I want to know. What are you thoughts on Wakanda Forever in general, and the handling of Boseman’s death in specific. And furthermore, how should these situations be handled in other properties? Let us know in the comments.

3 Comments and 0 Webmentions for “Call For Comments: Wakanda Forever and Replacing Deceased Actors”

  1. Liked it a lot, not as much as the first one though. It truly is a testament to the undeniable talent and Charisma of Chadwick boseman. I can’t think of many other things where a certain performer felt so missed. I don’t think Shuri is the best choice for the mantle, but I totally get why they did it in this one. Loved Namor and all the stuff with him. M’Baku is a freaking scene stealer, and Angela Bassett had better get nominated for every supporting actress award there is.

  2. I haven’t seen it, but in terms of other franchises, like you said, how Star Wars kind of awarkdly worked around Carrie Fisher’s death for the final two films, ultimately killing her off in Rise of Skywalker, which left me in tears, saying goodbye to one of my favorite characters as well. I thought it was awkward, but also honorable that they didn’t recast the role. And they also dedicated Last Jedi I her memory. In my opinion, I don’t think it’s right to recast a role when the actor or actress has died. Just kill off the character, even if they are beloved. I knew that Star Wars was going to eventually have Leia die, but I still wasn’t ready for it. And I commend the cast and crew working around that person’s death. I think Star Wars is the first real experience I’ve had with this, or at least it’s the only one I can think of for now, along with Black Panther 2.

  3. I haven’t seen it yet–I’m going to wait til it’s streaming so I can Ugly Cry at home–but I had kind of hoped that one thing they might do is pull another BP out of the multiverse. (Maybe they can still do that.) IMAGINE IN A WORLD where they bring back Michael B. Jordan as Erik except in HIS universe he was a hero and then he comes to this one through handwavery. You could get all sorts of character development with people interacting with this different Erik and we would get more MBJ.

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