Ryan Coogler is still coping with the fact that Black Panther 2 won’t include the Black Panther himself.
As the filmmaker prepares to begin production on the Marvel movie’s upcoming sequel, Coogler is opening up about what it’s like to continue the process without the franchise’s star, Chadwick Boseman.
The director told The Hollywood Reporter that he was already writing the sequel’s script when Boseman passed in August 2020 at age 43, which came following a private four-year battle with cancer. He admitted that returning to the story would be difficult, but believes Boseman would’ve wanted the team to pick up right where they left off.
“It’s difficult. You’ve got to keep going when you lose loved ones. I know Chad wouldn’t have wanted us to stop,” he told the publication. “He was somebody who was so about the collective. Black Panther, that was his movie. He was hired to play that role before anybody else was even thought of, before I was hired, before any of the actresses were hired.”
He continued, “On that set, he was all about everybody else. Even though he was going through what he was going through, he was checking in on them, making sure they were good. If we cut his coverage, he would stick around and read lines off camera [to help other actors with their performances]. So it would be harder for me to stop. Truthfully. I’d feel him yelling at me, like, ‘What are you doing?’ So you keep going.”
While fans are pleased with the franchise moving forward, they’re even happier about the fact that the film won’t recast Boseman’s legendary role.
Shortly after his untimely death last year, Marvel Studios confirmed his role of T’Challa would not be recast. Walt Disney Studios later announced that the upcoming sequel will instead honor Boseman’s “legacy and portrayal of T’Challa” and “explore the world of Wakanda and the rich characters introduced in the first film.”