Upcoming animated anthology series Marvel’s What If…? is already an exciting prospect, throwing audiences headfirst into the alternate tales of the MCU multiverse, but the series boasts another far more poignant honor; featuring the final performance of the late, great Chadwick Boseman. Now, star Jeffrey Wright, who leads What If…? as the all-powerful observer Uatu The Watcher, has discussed Boseman’s presence in the series, describing it has “mythic”.
“It was a lovely surprise to find out that we’d be in the same space with What if…?; this being the last performance we’ll get from him. The thing that strikes me the most about what he has done here and what he has done with these films is that obviously these are films about heroisms and all the complications of that, and what we all discovered is the kind of mythic quality that he brought to these performances kind-of paled to the mythic quality that was his life in terms of the way that he was going about doing this work; the grace, the dignity, the power.”
Chadwick Boseman tragically passed away on the 28th August 2020 after a secret battle with colon cancer. Aged just 43, Boseman had already proven himself to be a very worthy talent, with Wright believing that his real-life struggle has further cemented the Oscar nominated actor as a hero both off-screen and on it as T’Challa AKA Black Panther.
Chadwick Boseman returns for an episode of What If…? in which T’Challa becomes Star-Lord instead of Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), the conceit of which was dreamt up by the writers after realizing that both T’Challa and Quill are the same age. “T’Challa is an interesting character because he’s not a character who arcs himself, he’s a character who changes the world around him,” writer A.C. Bradley explained, “He doesn’t go through a transformation, he transforms the world. So, taking a step back, (we pondered) how could T’Challa transform outer space?”
“It was amazing being able to work with him,” said director Bryan Andrews about Boseman, “We only got a small moment because our episodes are so short. I think he was one of the first actors to sign on.” Andrews was particularly impressed with Boseman’s voice acting, revealing that “He wanted to read scene descriptions in between and built it out like a play.”
“None of us knew what he was going through at the time,” Andrews added, referring to the actor’s ill-health. “He was excited to play this particular version of T’Challa because it was different,” he continued. “Because it was a version of him playing the King, but the King without the mantel, the royalty and everything else that goes along with it. He could lighten it up and get more jokey with it. He was excited to bring back that flavor to T’Challa.”
Following the creation of the multiverse in Loki, the series explores the various branching timelines of the multiverse in which major moments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe occurred differently. The first season of What If…? is scheduled to premiere on August 11, 2021, on Disney+. No doubt many be tuning in to witness the emotional final performance of Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa. This comes to us from Deadline.