According to director Ryan Coogler, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has a central question for the development of the next MCU movie: “How do you keep going in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds?”
Speaking to Empire, Coogler discussed the film dealing with the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman, the original Black Panther star who has played T’Challa in the MCU since Captain America: Civil War. He said the question, which even helped shape a version of the film that was “very spiritually similar” to the sequel before Boseman’s passing, became even more significant after the actor’s death and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Unfortunately, that question became more and more relevant“, comments Coogler. “Both for humanity as a whole, and for the people in our production who came back for this one. It became super relevant when we lost our brother“.
As for how Coogler and the team have approached that issue, he reveals that is leaning on the cast of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to keep this story alive, including Letitia Wright’s Shuri, Angela Bassett’s Queen Ramonda, Winston Duke’s M’Baku, and Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia.
“This unique group is more like a band than a group of actors, and Chad was our lead singer.Coogler said.So for me, it was like, ‘How can I figure out a song that they can still upload and sing?’, in light of what we were dealing with.“.
Obviously, this is easier said than done, and even Nyong’o admitted that he had more than just misgivings about the project initially, I was “terrified”. Fortunately, Coogler had a clear vision of something that “would honor both T’Challa and Chadwick Boseman himself, and Nyong’o’s fears were allayed“.
“Ryan had explained to me what the movie was going to be like when Chadwick was still alive. And once we lost it, the idea that we could move on was unfathomable to me.Nyong’o said.What Ryan ended up sharing with me was so sincere and beautiful. In the end, tears came to my eyes“.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be released in theaters on November 11, 2022. If you want to know more, check out why Namor is a villain in the film and our analysis of the first trailer for the sequel.