Chadwick Boseman’s sudden death in 2020 hit people really hard. It obviously hit those closest to him harder than most. That includes those who worked with him, and were planning on doing so again. For Ryan Coogler, who directed him in Black Panther, it not only made him almost turn down helming the sequel, but it almost made him drop out of Hollywood completely.
“I was at a point when I was like, ‘I’m walking away from this business,'” Coogler recently told Entertainment Weekly. “I didn’t know if I could make another movie period, [let alone] another Black Panther movie, because it hurt a lot. I was like, ‘Man, how could I open myself up to feeling like this again?’”
Obviously he didn’t go through with that, and he did return for what looks like a very moving and very gorgeous-looking — and very long — sequel, Wakanda Forever, which deals with a T’Challa-less future. But it still took some doing. Coogler said he found himself checking out lots of Boseman footage and interviews, in which he would talk about how much the franchise meant to him. That got him motivated to get back into the swing of things.
“I was poring over a lot of our conversations that we had, towards what I realized was the end of his life,” the director explains. “I decided that it made more sense to keep going.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on November 11.