- “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” follows T’Challa’s family as they mourn his death.
- However, director Ryan Coogler told Inverse that the original script focused on a grieving T’Challa.
- Coogler said T’Challa “mourned the loss of time” after his disappearance in “Avengers: Endgame.”
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” director Ryan Coogler said the film initially focused on Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa “mourning the loss of time.”
The latest Marvel film, which opens next week, follows the fictional African nation of Wakanda as it mourns the loss of its king, T’Challa, mirroring real-life events following Boseman’s death in 2020. Coogler and co-writer Joe Robert Cole put together a new story for the ‘Black Panther’ sequel in the wake of the protagonist’s death.
In a new interview with Inverse, Coogler said the original script would have a “similar” tone to the final film, but would follow in the wake of “Avengers: Endgame.” In the movie “Avengers”, T’Challa disappeared from existence due to Thanos’ fracture along with half the universe. The character had thus lost five years of his life – called Blip – when he came back to life at the end of the film.
“The tone would be similar,” Coogler said. “The character would be mourning the loss of time, you know, coming back after being away for five years. As a man with so much responsibility to so many, coming back after an enforced five-year absence, that was the movie in its entirety.”
He added: “She mourned when she couldn’t come back. Grief was a big part of her.”
Coogler also said that Namor (Tenoch Huerta) was “always the antagonist” for the film’s sequel, despite the story change.
“There were other characters, for sure, that we thought about including,” the “Black Panther” director said. “Namor was always there.”
Boseman died on August 28, 2020, following treatment for colon cancer with which he had been diagnosed four years earlier. Last month, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige told Empire that they decided not to recast Boseman because it felt “too early.”
In July, Lupita Nyong’o, who played T’Challa’s lover Nakia in the first “Black Panther” film, told The Hollywood Reporter that it was difficult to shoot the sequel without Boseman, but the process was “very therapeutic “.
“For us as a cast, having lost our king, Chadwick Boseman, it was a lot to process and in many ways we still are,” Nyong’o said. “When you lose someone, I don’t know when you stop missing them. And of course, we felt that so much, making this movie without him.”
Nyong’o added: “Making this film against all odds is a powerful statement in itself, and I’m very proud that we did it. It was very healing. It restored a sense of hope for me when I made it, and “I think we’ve expanded the world of Wakanda in ways that will blow people’s minds — not just Wakanda but the world of ‘Black Panther.'”
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” hits theaters on November 11.