As you can imagine, Black Panther 2, Wakanda Forever, revolved around the figure of T’Challa, the character brought to life by actor Chadwick Boseman. His death, as you know, led to changing the original story. What we didn’t know until now was what that original story was. Director Ryan Coogler has now shared what the plan was for Black Panther 2 with Chadwick Boseman. Before the actor died, Coogler wanted the second Black Panther movie Wakanda Forever It was about loss and grief. All this before learning about Boseman’s disease, who died on August 28, 2020 as a result of the effects of stage 4 colon cancer. In the first drafts of Wakanda Forever T’Challa was lamenting the lost time during Thanos’ snap at Avengers: Infinity War. “The character was going to be afflicted by the loss of time [durante los cinco años que transcurren en el Marvel Cinematic Universe desde el chasquido de Thanos hasta el chasquido de Hulk], you know, coming back after being away for all that time. The movie was addressing the responsibility that her character felt towards her town after a forced absence of five years, that’s what the movie was addressing. She was going through a kind of mourning for not being able to be with them during those five years. Pain was a big part of her process,” Coogler told Inverse.
“Who the lead was, the lead’s flaws, what the lead was dealing with on his journey…all of those things had to be different. [al morir Boseman] because we lost him and the decisions we made to move forward with the story, “Coogler explained. The film starts (this is not a spoiler, it is something public and notorious, reflected in the trailers) with the off-screen death of T ‘Challa, which forces all of Wakanda, including the royal family, T’Challa’s mother, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), and her sister Shuri (Letitia Wright), to defend the nation of Wakanda from harmful outside influences.
Had it not been for Chadwick Boseman, Ryan Coogler would not have directed Black Panther. It was her performance in Captain America: Civil War which convinced him to enter the MCU. “I inherited the casting choice of Marvel and the Russo brothers from T’Challa. It’s something I’ll always be grateful for. The first time I saw Chad’s performance as T’Challa, it was in an unfinished cut of Civil War. I was deciding whether or not to direct Black Panther it was the right choice for me. I will never forget the day I sat in a projection room at the Disney offices and watched their scenes. His first with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, and then with South African film titan John Kani as T’Challa’s father, King T’Chaka. It was at that moment that I knew I wanted to make this film. After Scarlett’s character left them, Chad and John began to converse in a language they had never heard before. It sounded familiar, full of the same inflections that little black kids would do in America. The same inflections that would often mislead us as being disrespectful or inappropriate. But he had a musicality that felt ancient and powerful and African,” Coogler said of Boseman’s death in a public letter.
“In my meeting after seeing the film, I asked Nate Moore, one of the film’s producers, about the language. What have you done? Nate replied: That’s Xhosa, John Kani’s native language. He and Chad decided to do the scene like this on set.. I thought, “Did she just learn his phrases in another language that day?” He couldn’t imagine how difficult this must have been for him, and even though he hadn’t met Chad, he was already in awe of his acting ability. I found out later that there had been a lot of talk about what T’Challa would sound like in the movie. The decision to make Xhosa the official language of Wakanda was made by Chad, a native of South Carolina. He also advocated that his character speak with an African accent, in order to present T’Challa to the audience as an African king, whose dialect had not been conquered by the West,” Coogler recounted.
“I finally met Chad in person in early 2016, once I decided to direct the movie. He walked past the journalists who were gathered for a press junket he was doing for ‘Creed,’ and he met with me. We talked about our lives, about my time playing college football and his time at Howard studying to be a director, about our collective vision of T’Challa and Wakanda. We talked about the irony of how his old Howard classmate Ta-Nehisi Coates I was writing the current T’Challa comic book arc with Marvel Comics. And we also talked about how Chad met Howard’s student, Prince Jones, [cuyo] murder by a police officer, inspired Coates’s memoir between the world and me. I realized then that Chad was an anomaly. She was constantly studying. He was also kind, comforting, he had the warmest laugh in the world, and his eyes could still sparkle like a child seeing something for the first time,” Coogler said.