Disney will not recast the role of Black Panther following the death of star Chadwick Boseman, the entertainment giant announced.
Boseman played superhero T’Challa in the 2018 Marvel blockbuster, which was lauded for being a landmark moment for diversity in Hollywood.
He died in August at the age of 43 following a private battle against colon cancer.
Black Panther 2 is due to arrive in 2022 and fans had speculated how Disney would handle Boseman’s death.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has now confirmed the role will not be recast.
Speaking during a Disney investor event, he said Boseman’s portrayal of the character is “iconic and transcends any iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past”.
He added: “However, to honour the legacy that Chad helped us build, we want to continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film.”
Black Panther was a critical and commercial success, grossing more than 1.3 billion dollars (£750 million) at the global box office and becoming the first superhero movie to be nominated for the best picture Oscar.
Writer and director Ryan Coogler is set to return for Black Panther 2, which has a release date of July 2022.