Black Panther 2 director explains original story before Chadwick Boseman’s death

Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther.Disney/Marvel

Black Panther 2 director Ryan Coogler has been discussing the original plot for Wakanda Forever, which was formulated before the tragic death of star Chadwick Boseman.

Following the phenomenal success of Black Panther – which grossed more than $1.3 billion at the box office, and earned an Academy Award for Best Picture – a sequel was quickly green-lit.

In the meantime, Chadwick Boseman reprised the role in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers Endgame, during which his character T’Challa disappeared for five years because of ‘The Blip.’

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With Black Panther: Wakanda Forever about to his screens, Coogler has been talking out how the film’s script looked before Boseman’s passing, and what changed afterwards.

Black Panther Wakanda Forever was always about grief

Grief is at the heart of Black Panther 2, with T’Challa’s people mourning his passing. A very different kind of grief was at the center of that earlier version.

“The tone was going to be similar,” Coogler told Inverse. “The character was going to be grieving the loss of time, you know, coming back after being gone for five years. As a man with so much responsibility to so many, coming back after a forced five years absence, that’s what the film was tackling. He was grieving time he couldn’t get back. Grief was a big part of it.”

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That all than changed, with Coogler explaining: “Who the protagonist was, the flaws of the protagonist, what the protagonist was dealing with in their journey, all of that stuff had to be different due to us losing him and the decisions that we made about moving forward.”

Namor was always the antagonist of Black Panther 2

Coogler then discussed the film’s antagonist, who at one time was rumored to be Doctor Doom. The director didn’t mention the Fantastic Four villain, but did state that while he and co-writer had to change plot and protagonist, that element remained the same.

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Namor the Sub-Mariner “was always the antagonist,” Coogler told Inverse. “There were other characters, for sure, that we considered including, [but] Namor was always there.”

Black Panther Wakanda Forever hits screens on November 11.