Director Ryan Coogler teases details about the story of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever before Chadwick Boseman’s death. Chadwick Boseman quickly rose to prominence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe after debuting as T’Challa in Captain America: Civil War. Between 2016 and 2019, he made four appearances, with more to arrive in Phase 4 and even beyond, including Black Panther 2. Chadwick Boseman, on the other hand, tragically died in 2020 after secretly fighting colon cancer for 4 years. The shocking news put Marvel Studios in the unthinkable situation of mourning a close collaborator while deciding what to do with Black Panther 2.
The entire Marvel Studios team, including director Ryan Coogler, ultimately decided that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever still could happen without Chadwick Boseman. Instead of recasting T’Challa, the focus of the story was shifted to multiple characters, including Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), and Okoye (Danai Gurira). All of them will aid Wakanda in her fight against Namor in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The excitement for the final MCU Phase 4 film has grown as the film’s advertising has finely balanced the sadness of Chadwick Boseman’s death with the amazing new adventure that awaits.
THR spoke with director Ryan Coogler about the sequel as part of a profile on star Lupita Nyong’o, and he confirmed some information for Black Panther 2’s original story before the Chadwick Boseman’s death. Initially, he and Joe Robert Cole had a screenplay that “was heavily rooted in T’Challa’s point of view” and followed his evolution as a leader following the events of Avengers: Endgame. Coogler did not reveal whether Namor was still going to be the villain, and yet he did say the sequel would always be a “massive movie.” The show will be accompanied by “a character study that delves deeply into [T’Challa’s] psyche and situation.”
Script Changes in Black Panther 2 Respect Chadwick Boseman’s Legacy
Following Chadwick Boseman’s death, alterations were made to the story of Black Panther 2 to assist the film respect his legacy. Coogler included Boseman’s death into the movie’s plot by including T’Challa’s death as well. The film’s marketing features murals of Boseman and T’Challa. This was done to incorporate the sadness that many of the actors and crew were experiencing into Black Panther 2, letting everyone to express their loss while working on the MCU film. “Ryan wrote something that completely honored the truth of what every one of us, those of us who knew Chadwick, were feeling. He developed something that could honor that and take the story forward,” Lupita Nyong’o told THR.
The screenplay modifications also prepared the door for Black Panther 2 to bring a new Black Panther to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This should also be a crucial component of the film commemorating Chadwick Boseman’s legacy, as various characters may have different thoughts for how to carry the role forward in the absence of T’Challa. Shuri appears to be the new Black Panther, charged with carrying on T’Challa’s heritage as the hero, but nothing has been verified. Finally, whoever takes over as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s next leader will be responsible for respecting Chadwick Boseman’s legacy in real life as the franchise’s leader.