The role of King T'Challa will not be recast for the upcoming Black Panther II.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced during Disney's Investor Day on Thursday that to honor Chadwick Boseman, who died in August after a private cancer battle, his titular role as the Wakandan superhero will not be recast.
Instead, the sequel will "will explore the world of Wakanda & the rich characters introduced in the first film."
Ryan Coogler is returning to write and direct Black Panther II, which will be released on July 8, 2022.
Last month, executive producer Victoria Alonso said that Boseman's character will not be rendered digitally, either.
"There’s only one Chadwick, and he’s no longer with us," Alonso said. "Sadly, our king has died in real life, not only in fiction, and we’re taking a little time to see how we continue the story and how to honor this chapter of what has unexpectedly happened to us, so painful and terrible to be honest."
"Chadwick wasn’t only a wonderful human being, every day of the 5 years we spent together, but also, I believe, that what he did as a character elevated us as a company, and has left his moment on history," she added.
In a statement to PEOPLE following Boseman's death, Feige said that the tragedy was "absolutely devastating."
"He was our T’Challa, our Black Panther, and our dear friend. Each time he stepped on set, he radiated charisma and joy, and each time he appeared on screen, he created something truly indelible," he said.
"He embodied a lot of amazing people in his work, and nobody was better at bringing great men to life. He was as smart and kind and powerful and strong as any person he portrayed. Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for the ages. The Marvel Studios family deeply mourns his loss, and we are grieving tonight with his family."
Boseman's team shared the tragic news of his death on his Instagram page on August 28, revealing that the actor died following a four-year struggle with colon cancer.
Boseman, whose last film is the upcoming Netflix movie Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and it progressed to stage IV by the time he died. He worked on some of his most famous movies, including Black Panther, while secretly fighting the disease.
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