Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler is discussing the film’s planned emphasis before the tragic death of actor Chadwick Boseman.
Coogler, 36, told The Hollywood Reporter for a feature of franchise costar Lupita Nyong’o that the narrative he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole before Chadwick died suddenly was heavily influenced by [Boseman’s character] King T’Challa’s point of view.
The director, who also directed Black Panther in 2018, said that despite the film’s size, it was mostly a character study that dove deep into his psychology and environment. Actress Lupita Nyong’o (age 39) told THR that director Ryan Coogler (age 28) wrote a final draft that “respected the truth of what we were all feeling, those of us who knew Chadwick.”
He made something fitting for that and could continue the tale. In the end, I was crying, she admitted. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly published earlier this month, Coogler said he was unsure if he could keep making movies following Boseman’s death from colon cancer in August 2020 at 43.
There was a point where I thought, “I’m out of here.” After that, I doubted my ability to direct another film, let alone another Black Panther film. I remember thinking, “Man, how could I possibly risk exposing myself to feeling like this again?” It was all laid out by him.
It became clear that in the days following Boseman’s death, Coogler deeply analyzed our final chats together. To keep going seemed like the most logical option, so I did.
He continued, “There’s also the idea that sorrow and other profound emotions can come in waves.” You can lose complete command of your situation if a wave carries you away. The water has a way of showing you that no matter how much you believe you have command, you really don’t.