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Ryan Coogler Considered Quitting Black Panther Sequel After Chadwick Boseman’s Death

Ryan Coogler revealed to Entertainment Weekly that he almost quit directing Black Panther: Wakanda Forever after Chadwick Boseman’s death.

Ryan Coogler nearly bailed on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever after Chadwick Boseman’s death in September 2020. The Oakland-born filmmaker spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the upcoming Black Panther sequel and how Boseman’s death almost derailed his directing career.

“I was at a point when I was like, ‘I’m walking away from this business,’” Coogler said. “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 revisit footage of himself with Boseman, reviving his passion for the fictional country of Wakanda and rewriting the Wakanda Forever script.

“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.”

Also returning to the Black Panther series are Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira and Winston Duke. New players in Wakanda Forever including Michaela Coel as Aneka, Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams/Ironheart and Tenoch Huerta as Namor. On Monday (October 3), a second trailer for the film was released.

In September, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told Empire it was “much too soon” to recast the role of T’Challa/Black Panther after Boseman’s death.

“The world is still processing the loss of Chad. And Ryan poured that into the story.”

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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