Angela Bassett Reacts to Chadwick Boseman's Role Not Being Recast in Black Panther: He's 'Irreplaceable'

Angela Bassett is remembering her Black Panther costar Chadwick Boseman as an "irreplaceable" part of their cast.

After Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced in December that Boseman's role of King T'Challa will not be recast following his death last August, Bassett — who played T'Challa's mother, Wakandan Queen Ramonda, in the 2018 film — spoke with Entertainment Tonight about the "interesting" decision.

"I had not thought about that idea, but of course it is Wakanda and they are, in terms of technology, they are so far ahead of the rest of the world that they would be able to bring some of that," said Bassett, 62, of a potential CGI reimagining of T'Challa, which Executive Producer Victoria Alonso also shot down in November.

She went on to call the death of Boseman "a tremendous loss," adding that "Kevin and the Marvel universe and Ryan [Coogler], the director, the writer from before, they are committed to telling [a story] and equally as much as we can, equally planned."

Boseman died at age 43 after a battle with colon cancer, a struggle Bassett told ET her costar held "really, really close to the chest."

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"[The filmmakers] have to do a major pivot and they are still working on that now because none of us knew anything," she added. "But his legacy, his loss, the love and appreciation that we have for who he was and what he shared with us cannot be [replaced]."

"It is missed and appreciated and cannot be duplicated. It's a tremendous honor and, yes, he is completely irreplaceable," the actress said.

Bassett penned a touching message to Boseman on her Instagram page after his death, sharing that she and the 21 Bridges actor had met many years before he became a star.

"'It was meant to be for Chadwick and me to be connected, for us to be family. But what many don't know is our story began long before his historic turn as Black Panther," Bassett wrote. "During the premiere party for Black Panther, Chadwick reminded me of something. He whispered that when I received my honorary degree from Howard University, his alma mater, he was the student assigned to escort me that day."

"And here we were, years later as friends and colleagues, enjoying the most glorious night ever! We'd spent weeks prepping, working, sitting next to each other every morning in makeup chairs, preparing for the day together as mother and son. I am honored that we enjoyed that full circle experience," she continued. "This young man's dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal. So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother … 'thou aren't not dead but flown afar … '. All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince. #WakandaForever."

Coogler, 34, is returning to write and direct Black Panther II, which is slated for release on July 8, 2022. Feige, 47, said last month that film "will explore the world of Wakanda and the rich characters introduced in the first film."

He also recently spoke with Deadline about all of the upcoming projects in the Marvel cinematic universe, including the sequel to the 2018 hit movie.

"So much of the comics and that first movie is the world of Wakanda. Wakanda is a place to further explore with characters and different subcultures. This was always and initially the primary focus of the next story," he said. "Ryan Coogler is working very hard right now on the script with all the respect and love and genius that he has, which gives us great solace, so it was always about furthering the mythology and the inspiration of Wakanda. There's also the task of honoring and respecting the ongoing learnings and teachings from Chad as well."

"There's only one Chadwick, and he's no longer with us," Alonso, 55, said in November after denying that the film will use a digital replacement of Boseman in the sequel. "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.

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