But one thing was for sure — whatever happened in the MCU had to honor Chadwick's legacy.
Marvel CEO Kevin Feige says that's exactly what they set out to do in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — and no one ever had any intentions of replacing Chadwick.
"It just felt like it was much too soon to recast," Kevin told Empire in a recent interview.
On top of that, Kevin says they wanted to honor Stan Lee's outlook on Marvel films.
"Stan Lee always said that Marvel represents the world outside your window," Kevin explained. "And we had talked about how, as extraordinary and fantastical as our characters and stories are, there’s a relatable and human element to everything we do."
"The world is still processing the loss of Chad. And [director] Ryan [Coogler] poured that into the story," Kevin shared.
Kevin noted that it took many conversations with Ryan to figure out the best way to move forward and honor Chadwick.
"The conversations were entirely about, yes, 'What do we do next?' And how could the legacy of Chadwick — and what he had done to help Wakanda and the Black Panther become these incredible, aspirational, iconic ideas — continue? That’s what it was all about," Kevin concluded.