Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler nearly retired from filmmaking after T’Challa actor Chadwick Boseman passed away in 2020.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler almost quit filmmaking after Chadwick Boseman died in 2020. The African-American filmmaker made his feature film debut in 2013 with the Sundance darling Fruitvale Station, starring Michael B. Jordan. Soon, Coogler was writing and directing large studio tent poles and reuniting with Jordan on the rocky spin-off Beliefs and the Marvel movie Black Panther. The latter starred Boseman as T’Challa, the king of Wakanda and the titular superhero.
Boseman passed away two years ago after a long and personal battle with colon cancer. The upcoming sequel Black Panther: Wakanda forever, will deal directly with the weight of this massive loss as, in the wake of King T’Challa’s death, Wakanda’s new leaders must defend their nation from invading forces led by Namor, the ruler of an underwater kingdom called Talocan. . The most likely candidate to succeed T’Challa as the next Black Panther is his sister, Shuri, played by Letitia Wright.
During a recent interview with EWCoogler reflects on the loss of Boseman and looks forward to the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The sequel’s writer/director makes the surprising admission that Boseman’s death had such an impact on him that he almost stopped filming altogether. Read what Coogler shares below:
I was at a point where I thought “I’m walking away from this company”, I didn’t know if I could make another movie period, [let alone] another Black Panther movie, because it hurt a lot. I thought, “Man, how could I open myself up like that again?” […] I dug into many of our conversations we had, toward what I realized was the end of his life. I decided it made more sense to continue.
How Black Panther 2 Will Honor Boseman’s Legacy
Coogler was writing the Black Panther 2 script when Boseman passed away in 2020. As the actor kept his illness private, his death came as a huge shock even to those who worked closely with him, such as Coogler, who lost not only his lead actor but a close friend and collaborator who helped shape Black Panther and the subsequent sequel. The sudden loss had a huge impact on Coogler and as a result, he almost walked away from the film industry.
Fortunately, Coogler didn’t run away, but plans for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever changed drastically after Boseman’s death. Ultimately, Coogler and his co-writer Joe Robert Cole decided there’s a better way to honor the late actor’s legacy than exploring the world of Wakanda and the characters that inhabit it. Like the audience watching the film, Wakanda will mourn the loss of their beloved leader, T’Challa, in the sequel. Hopefully, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever turns out to be a worthy tribute to Boseman’s legacy when the sequel hits theaters November 11.
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