Black Panther director Ryan Coogler is opening up about his grieving process since the death of Chadwick Boseman and admits that he nearly left the entertainment industry as a whole.
“I was at a point when I was like, ‘I’m walking away from this business,’” Coogler, 36, stated to Entertainment Weekly in an interview released Monday. “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?’”
Following Boseman’s death in August 2020, Coogler found himself rewatching footage of he and Boseman discussing the significance of T’Challa and Wakanda. “I was poring over a lot of our conversations that we had, towards what I realized was the end of his life,” the Wakanda Forever director explained. “I decided that it made more sense to keep going.”
The highly-anticipated sequel to the 2018 film will feature returning cast members Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira and Winston Duke, as they confront the death of King T’Challa (Boseman). Marvel Studios did not recast the late actor’s role, as president Kevin Feige explained, “[It was] much too soon. The world is still processing the loss of Chad. And Ryan poured that into the story.”
The official trailer for Wakanda Forever arrived on Monday morning (Oct. 3), revealing the film’s villain Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and teased that he may take on the mantle as the Black Panther. The film will make its theatrical debut on Nov. 11.