Marvel executives have already said they will not recast the role of T’Challa, but some fans believe that allowing a new actor to take over the role is the best way to honor Boseman’s legacy.
Fans Call for New T’Challa
Marvel fans are calling for Chadwick Boseman’s role in “Black Panther” to be recast following the actor’s tragic death in 2020.
The hashtag #RecastTChalla trended on Twitter this week as people argued that a new actor should play the character in the upcoming sequel, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Boseman passed away in Aug. 2020 at the age of 43 following a battle with colon cancer.
“The world lost a wonderful man in Chadwick Boseman. It needn’t lose T’Challa as well,” one fan wrote. “You’ll continue giving little black boys their royal hero, while also [giving] a chance to a talented black actor to shine.”
Many fans agree that the best way to honor Boseman’s legacy is to allow a new actor to take over the role of T’Challa. Some even believe this is what Boseman would have preferred. According to TMZ, Boseman’s own brother, Derrick Boseman, told the outlet that he believes Chadwick would have wanted to see someone else play the part.
A Change.Org petition calling for T’Challa to be recast has received over 43,000 signatures as of Tuesday morning.
“If Marvel Studios removes T’Challa, it would be at the expense of the audiences (especially Black boys and men) who saw themselves in him,” the petition says. “That also includes the millions of fans who were inspired by the character as well.”
The petition added that this effort is “not a call to replace Chadwick Boseman” because “no one could ever do that.” Instead, it says fans are “asking to continue the portrayal of T’Challa in the MCU… to fulfill the role that Chadwick Boseman worked so hard for the world to see.”
“As the first Black superhero in mainstream comics and the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), T’Challa is literally Black history,” the petition continued.
“Chadwick Boseman wanted people to see the role, and not himself. He believed that the roles he took on were bigger than himself, and the role of T’Challa was no exception.”
Marvel Producers Have Previously Pledged Not to Recast
The request to recast T’Challa, however passionate and sincere, is not likely to be answered. Production for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” already began earlier this year. Several people involved with the project have also previously stated the role will not be recast.
“We’re not going to have a CG Chadwick and we’re not recasting T’Challa,” Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige told Deadline back in January.
Feige had previously suggested that the studio did not plan to recast the character in December 2020 when he honored Boseman during a presentation at Disney Investor Day.
“[Boseman’s] portrayal of T’Challa, the Black Panther, is iconic and transcends iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past,” he said. “To honor the legacy that Chad helped us build through his portrayal of the king of Wakanda, we want to continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film.”
Producer Nate Moore echoed this last month while speaking to the “Ringer-Verse Podcast.” He said that because “so much of T’Challa…is tied to Chadwick’s performance,” at “no point did we consider recasting him.”
Letitia Wright’s Role in The Sequel
The online discussion of recasting T’Challa comes amid the spread of unverified Internet rumors that Letitia Wright, who plays T’Challa’s sister Shuri, is quitting the sequel over her alleged unvaccinated status. Many have speculated that her character could step into the shoes as the Black Panther superhero in the highly-anticipated film, but plot details remain unknown. Wright has denied being an anti-vaxxer, though reports say she has not received a jab to protect her against COVID-19.
Wright was injured on set in August and returned to London to recover. In November, production for the film shut down while waiting for her to heal. Just days after the shutdown announcement, The Hollywood Reporter said that because Wright is allegedly not vaccinated against COVID-19, production was facing hurdles organizing her return to film in the U.S.
Last week, rumors began swirling that she was quitting altogether, but The Hollywood Reporter put out a newsletter Friday dismissing those claims. The newsletter said that the project “is indeed on track to resume production in late January in Atlanta. With Wright.”
See what others are saying: (TMZ) (MovieWeb) (The Independent)
Chris Pratt Denies Association With Hillsong Church: “I’ve Never Actually Been”
The church has been accused of having anti-LGBTQ ties, something Pratt has taken a hit for.
Pratt Addresses Hillsong Controversy
After several years of facing criticism for his alleged ties to the controversial Hillsong Church, actor Chris Pratt said he has “never actually been” to the church and is “not a religious person.”
The Hillsong Church has been condemned for being anti-LGBTQ. The issue received increased attention in 2019 when actor Elliot Page tweeted, “If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed.”
“Being anti LGBTQ is wrong, there aren’t two sides,” he continued.
At the time, Pratt responded to the allegations by saying that “nothing could be further from the truth” and that he believes “everyone is entitled to love who they want.” He doubled down on his denial in a profile published Tuesday in Men’s Health.
“I never went to Hillsong. I’ve never actually been to Hillsong,” he told the outlet. “I don’t know anyone from that church.”
Instead, Pratt said he attends Zoe Church in Los Angeles, though not exclusively. According to Men’s Health, Zoe Church is not without its issues. The church was founded by a pastor who produced a film that equated “sexual brokeness” to “same-sex attraction.” Other outlets have also described it as a Hillsong affiliate.
Pratt faced his biggest wave of backlash in 2020 when Internet memes declared him the “worst” Chris compared to other actors with the same first name, including Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Pine. A slew of celebrities quickly came to Pratt’s defense, arguing the criticism was unjustifiably mean. Their speedy responses only heightened the online conversation and many of the celebrities who spoke out were eventually mocked for doing so.
Pratt Says He is Not Religious
As for why the Internet has become increasingly anti-Pratt, his alleged association to Hillsong was a major factor. Some also speculated he was a supporter of Donald Trump as he did not join his “Avengers” co-stars for a Joe Biden fundraiser, though Pratt is not usually politically outspoken in either direction.
Pratt believes the backlash against him started when he gave a speech at the MTV Movie Awards in 2018 where he said, “God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you.” He understands why those remarks may have rubbed people the wrong way.
“Maybe it was hubris. For me to stand up on the stage and say the things that I said, I’m not sure I touched anybody,” he told Men’s Health. “Religion has been oppressive as fuck for a long time. I didn’t know that I would kind of become the face of religion when really I’m not a religious person.”
He went on to explain that in his eyes, there is a difference between adhering to certain customs and believing in God versus using God to control and harm people and justify hatred.
“The evil that’s in the heart of every single man has glommed on to the back of religion and come along for the ride,” he said.
See what others are saying: (Men’s Health) (The AV Club) (People)
Jodie Sweetin Releases Statement After Getting Pushed By Officers at Pro-Choice Protest: “This Will Not Deter Us”
“Love everyone out there in the streets fighting for what’s right,” she wrote on Instagram.
Actress Pushed at Protest
After viral footage showed Jodie Sweetin getting pushed to the ground by officers with the Los Angeles Police Department while attending a pro-choice protest, the “Full House” actress said demonstraters “will continue fighting” for their rights.
Sweetin was attending a protest off the 101 freeway on Saturday following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Photojournalist Mike Ade, who captured the video, said the actress was “trying to lead a group of peaceful protestors away from the freeway” when officers pushed her. Sweetin was standing on a curb when she was pushed and fell down on the cement road. Ade wrote that she was “fortunately…okay.”
Ade shared a handful of other videos depicting officers using similar tactics on other protesters. As these videos started circulating online, many became outraged by the LAPD’s response to the protests.
Sweetin Addresses Incident
Following the incident, Sweetin released a statement where she said the fight against the court’s decision is not over.
“I’m extremely proud of the hundreds of people who showed up yesterday to exercise their First Amendment rights and take immediate action to peacefully protest the giant injustices that have been delivered from our Supreme Court,” Sweetin said. “Our activism will continue until our voices are heard and action is taken. This will not deter us, we will continue fighting for our rights. We are not free until ALL of us are free.”
Sweetin also shared footage of the incident and other clips of officers clashing with protesters on her Instagram story. She cheered protesters in a comment on a video of the push shared by a social justice group called The Progressivists.
“Love everyone out there in the streets fighting for what’s right,” she wrote.
According to a statement obtained by Deadline, the LAPD is looking into the matter.
“The LAPD is aware of a video clip of a woman being pushed to the ground by officers not allowing the group to enter on foot and overtake the 101 freeway,” the statement said. “The force used will be evaluated against the LAPD’s policy and procedure.”
See what others are saying: (Deadline) (Rolling Stone) (The Hollywood Reporter)
Dave Chappelle Decides Against Having Former High School’s Theater Named After Him
“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” the comedian reportedly said.
Theater Named Announced
Comedian Dave Chappelle opted on Monday to not have the theater at his alma mater high school named after him, according to a report from The Washington Post.
The Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. previously planned to name its theater in honor of Chappelle, as he is a distinct alum and donor. While Chappelle formerly said such a gesture would be “the most significant honor of [his] life,” he announced during Monday’s naming ceremony that it would bear a different title.
The school’s theater will instead be called the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression.
A naming ceremony was initially set to take place in November, but was postponed after the comedian began facing backlash for transphobic jokes in his Netflix special “The Closer.”
Among other things, he said he was “Team TERF,” which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. He also made a joke about Caitlyn Jenner and remarks comparing the genitalia of transgender women to Beyond and Impossible meat.
The jokes embroiled Chappelle in controversy, and reports claimed that some students at Duke Ellington took issue with the comments. When Chappelle ended up visiting the school amid the scandal, Politico reported that one student told the comedian, “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish, you handled it like a child.”
Chappelle Defends Controversial Special
According to The Post, Chappelle said the criticism against him “sincerely” hurt, but added that “the Ellington Family is my family.” He claimed he did not want the theater being named after him to distract students.
“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” he said according to Josh Rogin, a columnist for the outlet.
Rogin also tweeted that Chappelle took time out of the ceremony to slam the criticisms levied against him, accusing upset students of promoting someone else’s agenda.
“These kids didn’t understand that they were instruments of oppression,” he reportedly said.
“You cannot report on an artist’s work and remove artistic nuance,” Chappelle continued while denouncing the press coverage of his Netflix special.
According to David Frum, a staff writer for The Atlantic who attended the ceremony, Chappelle suggested he was open to potentially adding his name to the theater at a later date when the community is ready.