Wakanda Forever director reveals how movie changed after the death of Chadwick Boseman
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler has discussed how the dynamic of the Black Panther sequel naturally changed following the passing of Chadwick Boseman.
The actor reached superstardom after being cast as Wakanda King T'Challa in Captain America: Civil War. From there, he would appear in a standalone Black Panther movie as well as Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
On a budget of $200m, 2018's Black Panther earned $1.348 billion at the box office.
Boseman was set to reprise his role in a sequel, but passed away after losing his battle with colon cancer. Marvel subsequently announced that T'Challa would not be recast and no computer graphics would be used to recreate the actor's likeness.
Wakanda Forever is set to be released in November, and Coogler says it was important to move the spotlight to the likes of Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong'o and Angela Bassett now that Boseman sadly cannot return.
“This unique group is more like a band than it is a group of actors, and Chad was our lead singer,” he told Empire.
“So for me, it was like, ‘How do I figure out a song that they can still get up there and sing?’, in light of what we were dealing with.”
Wakanda Forever cast had reservations about returning
The very existence of a Black Panther sequel went into doubt following the death of Boseman, and Nyong'o, who played Nakia in the first movie, admits she had "dread" about returning without her leading man.
She explains that Coogler won her over with his emotional script, however.
“I didn’t have doubts – I had dread,” admits Nyong’o.
“Ryan had walked me through what the film was going to be when Chadwick was still alive. And so once we lost him, the thought that we could go on, it was just unfathomable to me.
“What Ryan ended up sharing with me was just so utterly truthful and beautiful. By the end of it, I was in tears.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be released in cinemas on 11 November 2022.
The cast includes Wright, Nyong'o, Bassett, Winston Duke, Danai Gurira, Florence Kasumba, Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Tenoch Huerta and Martin Freeman.
Watch the trailer below:
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Action / Adventure
2022 • 161 minutes
Action / Scifi
2018 • 134 minutes