Chadwick Boseman’s ‘Heroism’ Is Captured in Marvel’s ‘What If…?’ Says Jeffrey Wright

Chadwick Boseman passed away in August 2020 after a secret battle with colon cancer. The Black Panther star received his diagnosis in 2016 yet continued to work up until his final days.

His last performance as T’Challa was recording lines for the new Marvel animated series What If…? According to star Jeffrey Wright, Boseman’s “heroism” is captured in the “T’Challa Star-Lord” episode.

Chadwick Boseman at the 'Black Panther' premiere
Chadwick Boseman at the ‘Black Panther’ premiere | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

The Disney+ series Loki officially ushered in the multiverse inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and What If…? dives right into that premise in a big way. The MCU’s first animated series explores all of the different branched realities, the different superheroes inside them, and how the MCU would be altered if certain events had occurred differently.

The anthology series is based on a popular Marvel comic book of the same name that shows alternate versions of some of their biggest characters. They also brought in all of the original actors — including Boseman — to voice each character.

In the trailer, Tony Stark is never imprisoned in the middle east and is instead saved by Erik Killmonger. There’s also the Guardians of the Galaxy fighting at the Battle of New York, and Peggy Carter taking up the mantle of Captain Britain. Fans will see characters they’ve never seen before, like T’Challa Star-Lord, King Killmonger, Captain Carter, and Party Thor.

The ‘Black Panther’ star recorded his lines across four different sessions

According to Esquire, Boseman recorded his lines for What If…? across four different sessions last year. Marvel boss Kevin Feige admits that “in hindsight, it’s very moving.” The trailer features some of those lines from Boseman in his final performance as T’Challa. But this time, there’s a huge twist.

Instead of Yondu coming to Earth to get Peter Quill, he instead takes Wakanda’s Prince T’Challa. That’s how he becomes the alternate reality’s version of “T’Challa Star-Lord.”

Jeffrey Wright says ‘What If…?’ captures Chadwick Boseman’s heroism

Westworld star Jeffrey Wright is making his debut in the MCU as the Watcher in What If…? He has already seen the episode featuring Boseman. Wright says it was special for him to get to hear the late actor voice T’Challa once again and to be part of that project with him was “pretty nice.”

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“I think with Black Panther, there’s a mysticism about that film and about that story that captured all of our attention, and there is now a greater mysticism about Chadwick’s life that overlaps with the heroism of that character that he played in a really very special way,” Wright explained to Entertainment Tonight.

“We capture a bit of that in his episode of What If, so I look forward to that being shared with fans of his and fans of Marvel.”

The Watcher is the ‘biggest Marvel fan’

Wright joined the latest Marvel project after reading the What If…? comics and realizing there was a whole new landscape of stories that can be told based on familiar, well-loved characters. Wright was drawn to the idea of seeing characters like T’Challa in a new way, through a new lens.

Wright explained that his character is a “mysterious, all-powerful, slightly strange being” who observes the Marvel multiverses “like a TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat junkie” who’s taking it all in and watching.

“This character, who is probably the biggest Marvel fan known to man or alien, has access to all of these iterations of their stories that no one else does. New doors will open for audiences and for fans,” Wright explained.

Chadwick Boseman will be honored in ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

Feige revealed late last year that they would not be recasting the role of T’Challa for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Boseman passed away just one month before he was scheduled to go back to work for the sequel.

Black Panther star Lupita Nyong’o told Yahoo! Entertainment that director/writer Ryan Coogler reworked the sequel after Boseman’s death out of respect for the actor.

RELATED: ‘Black Panther 2’: Marvel Boss Kevin Feige Confirms How They Plan to ‘Honor’ Chadwick Boseman

“We have a leader in Ryan, who feels very much like we do, who feels the loss in a very, very real way as well,” Nyong’o said. “And his idea, the way in which he has reshaped the second movie is so respectful of the loss we’ve all experienced as a cast and as a world. So it feels spiritually and emotionally correct to do this.”

Marvel’s What If…? premieres on August 11 on Disney+. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled to hit theaters on July 8, 2022.