LOS ANGELES — Chadwick Boseman's lead role in the superhero movie sequel to "Black Panther" will not be recast following the actor's death, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige said on Thursday.
Feige told a Disney presentation for investors that Boseman's performance as the proud Black leader of the fictional land of Wakanda was iconic, and that he would not be replaced.
Boseman died in August of colon cancer at age 43 after a four year battle with the disease that he had kept private.
Feige said the sequel would honor Boseman's legacy by continuing to "explore the world of Wakanda and all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film." He did not give details but said the sequel was due to arrive in movie theaters in July 2022.
"Black Panther" executive producer Victoria Alonso last month denied speculation that the filmmakers planned to use a digital double for Boseman in the sequel.
Alonso was quoted as telling Argentine newspaper Clarin in a November interview that the filmmakers were taking time to decide how to continue the story.
Boseman's final film, drama "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," will be released by Netflix on Dec. 18.