While Black Panther was all about ‘Wakanda Forever,’ Marvel’s new animated show What If…? is taking a very different approach. T’Challa, heir to the Wakandan throne and successor of the Black Panther mantle, doesn’t stay on Earth long enough to realize his destiny.
Instead, his head is in the sky. And later, in the galaxy. In the Episode 2 of What If…?, the show asks the incredible question: what if T’Challa became Star-Lord?
Of course Yondu (Michael Rooker) was supposed to take Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) all those years ago, since his father is the (evil) Celestial, Ego, meaning Quill probably himself had some superhero potential. But in this alternate world, Kraglin and Taserface make a world-altering mistake and grab T’Challa instead. Much like the live-action Guardians of the Galaxy origin story, T’Challa becomes Star-Lord. Better yet, he somehow manages to make Yondu, Nebula, and even Thanos into no-doubt-about-it good guys. Yeah, no genocidal finger snap this time, people.
The effects of such a strange and unexpected twist is bound to have repercussions on not only who becomes a superhero, but also who the villains are. With Thanos out of the way, does that mean no one goes after the Infinity Stones? What If…? is bound to be filled with way more surprises, particularly with seven more episodes to come.
During the second episode though, it may have dawned on you. Who voiced T’Challa?
Who voiced T’Challa in Marvel’s What If…?
Although the late Chadwick Boseman will have no more live-action appearances in the MCU, he actually had one final performance as T’Challa before his passing. What If…? marks the last time we’ll witness Boseman portray T’Challa.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, director Bryan Andrews explained that Boseman was excited for the voice-acting role. “Chadwick, the actor, the performer, the man, he’s so amazing,” Andrews said. “And he signed on pretty early; he was like, “Yeah, this sounds cool. I want to do this.” And we were like, “Oh my God, really? That’s great!” So he really enjoyed the idea of being able to play this slightly different version of T’Challa.”
ComicBook.com reported that in a recent press conference, Andrews also said Boseman was one of the first actors to sign up for the series, and that he enjoyed the challenge of playing T’Challa in a completely different way. “Because it was a version of him playing the king, but the king without the mantle, the royalty, and everything else that goes along with it,” Andrews said. “He could lighten it up and get more jokey with it. He was excited to bring back that flavor to T’Challa.”
Head writer A.C. Bradley also had nothing but praise for the late actor’s performance while speaking with The Hollywood Reporter. “He came in to record, and I joked that he didn’t bring his A-game; he brought every damn sport there is,” Bradley said. “He made sure that this was going to be the episode that shined, but we did not realize why. And the world is a little sadder for it.”
Bradley also spoke with EW and shared even more details on Boseman’s dedication to bringing T’Challa to life. “He wanted to make sure he had the accent right, that it matched the movies, because he knew that because we’re animation, there’s going to be kids watching this,” Bradley added. “It was super important to him to make sure T’Challa is always presented as a role model and a hero. And luckily we were all on the same page.”
With a Marvel universe-changing plotline like this, it’s good to know that there are three more episodes to come featuring the late, great actor.
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