‘Black Panther’ Helmer Ryan Coogler Nearly Quit Directing After Chadwick Boseman’s Death

The filmmaker eventually signed on the Black Panther sequel.

Ryan Coogler Chadwick Boseman Black Panther Marvel Disney

Black Panther helmer Ryan Coogler has revealed that he considering ending his directing career after the death of Chadwick Boseman.

“I was at a point when I was like, ‘I’m walking away from this business,'” Coogler told Entertainment Weekly. ‘I didn’t know if I could make another movie period, [let alone] another Black Panther movie, because it hurt a lot. I was like, ‘Man, how could I open myself up to feeling like this again?'”

Chadwick Boseman passed away in August 2020, following a four-year battle with cancer. He was diagnosed with stage III color cancer in 2016, around the time he made his debut as Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, fighting the disease for four years as it progressed to stage IV. According to reports, Boseman never told anyone at Disney or Marvel about his diagnosis, believing that he would have beaten the disease in time to return for the Black Panther sequel.

“I was poring over a lot of our conversations that we had, towards what I realized was the end of his life,” Coogler added. “I decided that it made more sense to keep going.”

Following Chadwick Boseman’s death, Marvel’s Kevin Feige said that the people behind Black Panther: Wakanda Forever would not be recasting his character T’Challa. Instead, Marvel made Wakanda Forever as a way to honor his legacy, with a new character (based on reports, Boseman’s on-screen sister Shuri, played by Letitia Wright) taking on the mantle of Black Panther.

“It’s my job as a filmmaker to do things that I have personal integrity with,” Coogler said. “If I don’t believe in what I’m doing, I’m going to have a hard time getting other people to do their best work. For them to do their best work, they have to believe in it. At the end of the day, the choices we make have to feel truthful to me. When filmmakers make things that don’t feel truthful to them, you can feel it. And I will argue that those projects don’t have a shot at working.”

The storyline of the Black Panther sequel

The official synopsis for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever can be found below, courtesy of Disney.

“In Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,’ Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba), fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda.”

Directed by Ryan Coogler from a script he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole, Wakanda Forever stars Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Tenoch Huerta, Martin Freeman and Angela Bassett.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is currently scheduled to open on November 11, 2022. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the upcoming film and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Michael Bezanidis

Michael Bezanidis

Michael is the Managing Editor of Heroic Hollywood. When he's not playing video games, he's usually writing about film and television.