Kevin Feige says Chadwick Boseman's character wasn't re-cast in 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' because it was "much too soon".
The actor died from colon cancer aged 43 in 2020, and Marvel Studios president Feige has admitted a decision was made not to have King T’Challa played by another actor in the upcoming 'Black Panther' sequel because the world is "still processing the loss of Chad".
He said: "It just felt like it was much too soon to recast.
"Stan Lee always said that Marvel represents the world outside your window. And we had talked about how, as extraordinary and fantastical as our characters and stories are, there’s a relatable and human element to everything we do.
"The world is still processing the loss of Chad. And [director] Ryan [Coogler] poured that into the story."
Feige admitted he and his Marvel bosses then had discussions about how Boseman could be honoured in the movie.
He added to Empire magazine: "The conversations were entirely about, yes, ‘What do we do next? And how could the legacy of Chadwick - and what he had done to help Wakanda and the Black Panther become these incredible, aspirational, iconic ideas – continue? That’s what it was all about."
'Wakanda Forever' star Lupita Nyong'o - who appeared as Nakia in the 2018 MCU movie - recently told how she "dreaded" shooting the motion picture without Boseman.
She said: "I didn’t have doubts - I had dread. Ryan had walked me through what the film was going to be when Chadwick was still alive. And so once we lost him, the thought that we could go on, it was just unfathomable to me.
"What Ryan ended up sharing with me was just so utterly truthful and beautiful. By the end of it, I was in tears."
The forthcoming film, which is due for release on November 11, sees Letitia Wright step into the leading role of Marvel superhero Shuri.