“Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler has opened up about his grieving for the film’s star Chadwick Boseman, who died in Aug. 2020 after a private battle with colon cancer. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the filmmaker shared that Boseman’s death led him to reconsider continuing his work in the entertainment industry.
“I was at a point when I was like, ‘I’m walking away from this business,’” Coogler stated. “I didn’t know if I could make another movie period [or] another ‘Black Panther’ movie, because it hurt a lot. I was like, ‘Man, how could I open myself up to feeling like this again?’”
Coogler went on to explain that he spent the following weeks revisiting footage of himself with Boseman, who he saw as a major creative collaborator and champion of “Black Panther.” Returning to memories of his own relationship with the actor, the filmmaker began to rediscover his passion for the kingdom of Wakanda and its narrative possibilities.
“I was poring over a lot of conversations that we had, towards what I realized was the end of his life,” Coogler continued. “I decided that it made more sense to keep going.”
Coogler has returned to direct Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” which follows characters played by returning cast members Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira and Winston Duke, as they confront the death of Boseman’s King T’Challa.
In September, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige explained that it was “much too soon” to recast the role of T’Challa in the wake of Boseman’s death: “The world is still processing the loss of Chad. And Ryan poured that into the story.”
“Wakanda Forever” released its second trailer on Monday morning, revealing the film’s villain Namor (Tenoch Huerta) taking to the skies and teasing the character that will take on the mantle of the Black Panther. The film hits theaters on Nov. 11.