Kevin Feige has insisted Black Panther 2 "always" intended to focus on other characters.
The Marvel Studios boss confirmed the upcoming sequel will not feature CGI footage of the late Chadwick Boseman — who died of cancer last August — nor would his role as T'Challa be recast, but stressed that the focus on the film was never intended to be on his character.
While discussing the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe slate for both theatrical and Disney+, Feige told Deadline: "So much of the comics and that first movie is the world of Wakanda.
"Wakanda is a place to further explore with characters and different subcultures. This was always and initially the primary focus of the next story.
"We’re not going to have a CG Chadwick and we’re not recasting T’Challa."
Feige went on to praise writer-and-director Ryan Coogler for his "genius" work and, while the late actor won't feature in the movie, he promised the film will also "honour and respect" Boseman's legacy.
He added: "Ryan Coogler is working very hard right now on the script with all the respect and love and genius that he has, which gives us great solace, so it was always about furthering the mythology and the inspiration of Wakanda.
"There’s also the task of honouring and respecting the ongoing learnings and teachings from Chad as well."
Last month, Feige revealed that Boseman, before his death, managed to record "numerous episodes" of the Disney+'s animated series What If...?, where he reprised his role as T'Challa.
Black Panther 2 is currently in pre-production and is slated for a July 2022 release. Black Widow opens in cinemas Apr 29, to be followed by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on July 8, Eternals on October 28, and the still-untitled Spider-Man sequel in December. — BANG