Fans already knew that Chadwick Boseman, who played Black Panther in the 2018 movie, can't be replaced, but that news was confirmed by Victoria Alonso, the film's executive producer. In an interview with Argentinian newspaper Clarin and reported by Deadline, Alonso confirmed the eventual Black Panther sequel will not digitally re-create Boseman.
"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."
Boseman was just 43 when he died of colon cancer in August. While the sequel to Black Panther is expected to begin filming in 2021, there's been no official announcement about how the star's death will be handled. The Black Panther title could pass to another character, such as Letitia Wright's Shuri. Unused footage from the first film or from other Avengers movies could be spliced in to set up T'Challa's departure, or it could be addressed verbally without new footage of Boseman.
Actress Carrie Fisher died in 2016, yet her character, General Leia, made a brief appearance using previous footage in the 2019 film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.