When Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman died in 2020, Marvel announced they would not recast the character of T’Challa with a new actor.
While there were fans who thought they should just move forward with a new actor filling T’Challa’s shoes, that was never a possibility for director Ryan Coogler.
In an interview with Jemele Hill on a recent episode of Jemele Hill Is Unbothered, Coogler talked about the difficulties moving forward with Black Panther after Boseman’s death.
Black Panther 2 is hard for Coogler
Ryan Coogler is moving forward on Black Panther 2 as well as the upcoming Disney+ Wakanda series but he calls this the “hardest thing” he has ever had to do in his professional life.
“You have a professional life, you’ve got a personal life. Personal life, I’m going to say that when you work in something that you love, those things blend, they come together,” Coogler said. “I’m trying to find a work-life balance. But I’m not there yet, so this is without a question the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my professional life.”
Coogler said in the interview that making Black Panther 2 without Boseman “hurts and stings” but it is also “incredibly motivating.” He said it was “incredibly sad” to lose his friend but he is also “motivated that I got to spend time with him.”
Important to continue Black Panther franchise
Ryan Coogler also said it is very important for him to keep the Black Panther franchise moving forward, even with the loss of its main star.
“[It] is one of the more profound things that I’ve gone through in my life, having to be a part of keeping this project going without this particular person who is like the glue who held it together,” Coogler said.
Coogler and Boseman were friends outside of working together and the director said that it is hard to have a perspective on something while going through it.
However, Coogler will work to keep the story of Wakanda, which was immensely important for the Marvel Cinematic Universe moving into the future.
According to Disney, the second Black Panther movie will move away from T’Challa but will explore the world of Wakanda and the rich characters introduced in the first film.
The sequel includes a great cast of actors, including Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Martin Freeman, and Daniel Kaluuya.