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Two characters who nearly became Black Panther before Shuri in Wakanda Forever

Two characters who nearly became Black Panther before Shuri in Wakanda Forever

Monday 28 November 2022 at 13:39, by Martin Macdonald
Two characters who nearly became Black Panther before Shuri in Wakanda Forever

One of the screenwriters for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has revealed that two characters were considered to become the new Black Panther before Shuri.

The script for the Black Panther sequel went through major changes after the tragic passing of franchise star Chadwick Boseman, who lost his battle with cancer in 2020.

The producers, writers and director Ryan Coogler decided not to recast Boseman's character T'Challa out of respect for the actor. That catalysed speculation about who could take up the Black Panther mantle from the characters already within the MCU.

Within Wakanda Forever, T'Challa's sister Shuri became the new Black Panther, but Joe Robert Cole says M'Baku and Naki were also considered.

"We would kick around the ideas," the Wakanda Forever screenwriter told Rolling Stone.

"Try to extrapolate where the story goes and what’s the most impactful choice — what’s the best journey? And where do you go after the film in terms of those characters. M’Baku certainly was someone that got kicked around a little bit. I think you’re correct because in the comics, Shuri is Black Panther and there’s a natural organicness, I guess is the best way to say it, to her becoming Panther.

"But you kick the tires on all sorts of ideas. And you just want to make the best decision and do what’s best for the story.

On Nakia, he said: "Her name got kicked around for sure."

Was a CGI Boseman considered?

There was speculation while the movie was being made that Boseman might make a cameo via the use of CGI.

However, Cole says that was never on the cards out of respect for the actor.

"I don’t remember any conversations about that," he insisted.

"No. I don’t think we were ever…I don’t think anyone felt that would be appropriate."

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