‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Director Ryan Coogler Reveals How The Movie Changed (And Didn’t Change) After Chadwick Boseman’s Death

As Black Panther: Wakanda Forever gets ready to tackle the monumental task of building on the massive global success of the first film without the benefit of Chadwick Boseman anchoring the film, writer/director Ryan Coogler is opening up about the emotional journey that started with the shocking death of his lead actor. Fortunately, Coogler had a small, yet bittersweet advantage working in his favor. Grief was already a central theme of the original script as the film would have grappled with T’Challa dealing with the aftermath of his absence during the events of Avengers: Endgame.

Via Inverse:

“The tone was going to be similar,” Coogler says. “The character was going to be grieving the loss of time, you know, coming back after being gone for five years. As a man with so much responsibility to so many, coming back after a forced five years absence, that’s what the film was tackling. He was grieving time he couldn’t get back. Grief was a big part of it.”

Wakanda’s epic rivalry with Namor was already built into the script, which Coogler kept even as the story went through a major overhaul. “There were other characters, for sure, that we considered including,” Coogler said. “Namor was always there.”

But even with a central conflict still in play and a script already engineered to focus on grief, Coogler revealed last month that he almost quit the film business entirely after Boseman’s death. Ultimately, the director knew he had to press on.

“I was poring over a lot of our conversations that we had, towards what I realized was the end of his life,” Coogler told Entertainment Weekly. “I decided that it made more sense to keep going.”

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on November 11.

(Via Inverse)