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Ryan Coogler Recounts Final Conversation With Chadwick Boseman Weeks Before His Death

On Marvel’s official Black Panther podcast, host Ta-Nehisi Coates spoke with Ryan Coogler about his last conversation with Chadwick Boseman.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler is still in deep mourning after the untimely death of Ryan Coogler in 2020. Coogler recently spoke on Marvel’s official Black Panther podcastWakanda Forever, about his last conversation with Boseman and how the actor’s death impacted the Black Panther sequel.

Coogler shared that he spoke with Boseman in the final weeks of the actor’s life. Although Coogler finished the original Wakanda Forever script, he says that Boseman declined to read it.

“He said he didn’t wanna read it because he didn’t wanna get in the way of what direction the studio might have, ” Coogler said. “So he was like it’s better for him to read it later. I found out later that he was too tired to read anything.”

Coogler also explained that he was in a state of denial after hearing of Boseman’s death, calling Denzel Washington to check if the news was just a rumor. The filmmaker added that he considered quitting the Black Panther sequel altogether, later realizing that he had to continue, as Boseman still acted during his illness.

“He was sick when I met him,” Coogler said. “But looking back on it, it’s like, my mans was dying. It’s a shocking thing to realize, and it’s also a thing where it’s like ‘I can’t quit. If he did all that while he was going through that, this is just grief. So we gotta push through.”

In paying tribute to Boseman, Coogler confirmed that the character of T’Challa could not be replaced, as if Boseman was ordained to play the Wakandan king.

“He was T’Challa before Civil War in a way, in his mind,” Coogler said. “And I’m sure there’s a lot of actors like that out there like that. But they wasn’t Chad.”
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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