With Marvel's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever now in production, fans of both the franchise and its star Chadwick Boseman, who passed away from a long bout with colon cancer in August of 2020, have been pondering the future of the character. Rest easy friends, we have our answer.

On a recent episode of The Ringer-Verse Podcast, Nate Moore, the Marvel Cinematic Universe VP Of Development was asked by host Van Lathan Jr.,

What are the chances we see the character of T'Challa in the MCU moving forward and what is it like having to balance loyalty to a fan base and to a performer as regal and elegant as Chadwick Boseman, along with the future of that franchise, that character, and Wakanda?

Nate Moore was extremely forthcoming with how the producers and director Ryan Coogler are handling the loss,

I will say the chances that you see T'Challa in our -- I'm not hedging my bets, I'm being quite honest -- T'Challa -- you will not see T'Challa in The MCU in the 616 Universe. We couldn't do it.

Moore continued,

I'll say, when Chad passed, it was a real conversation we had with Ryan Coogler and what we do and it was a fast conversation. It wasn't weeks. It was minutes. We had to figure out how to move this franchise forward without that character because, I think, we all feel so much of T'Challa in the MCU on the screen, not in the comics, right, is tied to Chadwick's performance, is what he brought to that role both on and off screen. So, as hard as it is to figure out what to do, it's a big hole.

At no point did we consider recasting. So, the challenge for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is telling a story without T'Challa. And I think it's a challenge we are up for and obviously we are in the middle of it and so far what we are getting is great but the challenge of the movie is to entertain people but there will be a level of, I think, catharsis in people coming back to this universe without the guy because that guy in that universe, to me, are one and the same. So, as filmmakers and storytellers you have to figure out how people are going to feel going into your movie and what you want that movie to say about that guy who is not going to be there.

This sentiment from Moore will hopefully sit well with heartbroken fans, for whom so many saw both Chadwick Boseman and the character he portrayed as a true king.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is expected to release in theaters November 22, 2022.