Ryan Coogler reveals details of the original script for Black Panther 2

The Black Panther sequel had a completely different script for Chadwick Boseman before his untimely passing.

In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the central plot revolves around the passing of King T’Challa. The opening scenes were a celebration of his life and legacy in the MCU. This is reflective of the real-world passing of actor Chadwick Boseman who played the superhero, Black Panther.

Chadwick Boseman Legacy Cover
The original story for Black Panther 2 was about the loss of time during the Blip.

There's a sense of grief and loss when watching the trailer for Black Panther 2, which is intentional. Director Ryan Coogler reportedly used his own feelings of loss as the theme for the film. The rest of the cast and crew have also stated that the film is a tribute to Boseman. But, while grief is a central theme to the Black Panther sequel, the original screenplay also used grief albeit in a very different way.

According to Coogler, the follow-up originally planned on using T'Challa grief over losing half a decade to the Blip.

In an interview with Inverse, the director revealed that the tone of the current movie and the original were similar. "The tonal shift, I will say, was less of a shift than in [casting]," Coogler shares.

The director reveals, "the character was going to be grieving the loss of time, you know, coming back after being gone for five years. As a man with so much responsibility to so many, coming back after a forced five years absence, that’s what the film was tackling. He was grieving time he couldn’t get back. Grief was a big part of it."

Black Panther Original Script
Director Ryan Coogler had to rework the script to reflect the passing of Chadwick Boseman.

After Boseman passed away, Coogler along with co-writer Joe Robert Cole had to draft a new screenplay. The rework included the death of the King of Wakanda and the succession of the new Black Panther.

While the main protagonist changed, other elements of the story, specifically the villain. The Talocan monarch, Namor, "was always the antagonist", as per Coogler.

"There were other characters, for sure, that we considered including," Coogler shares. "Namor was always there." Namor has been a long-time rival of T’Challa in the comics and the movie was intended to be a clashing of the two kingdoms.

Marvel had to change some details regarding Namor as well to make his character more identifiable with the MCU. Instead of Atlantis, Namor is from the Ancient Mayan kingdom of Talocan.

Black Panther Funeral Scene
Black Panther 2 pays tribute to T'Challa and Chadwick Boseman and opens with a funeral scene.

In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Shuri, Okoye, and Nakia along with Queen Ramonda and the rest of Wakanda deal with the loss of its protector and King. The opening sequence is a remembrance and a celebration of the lives of Boseman and T’Challa. The Wakandans have to overcome the grief of his passing and work together to continue his legacy as the protectors of the Kingdom.

Director Ryan Coogler explains the sequel helped them move forward.

Judging from what we've heard so far, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is going to be an emotionally-charged film. We'll find out more once it hits theaters on November 11.

Darryl Lara

Darryl has been gaming since the early 90s, loves to read books and watch TV. He spends his free time outside of gaming and books by riding his motorcycle and taking photographs. You can find Darryl on Instagram. Check him out on Steam and Xbox too.
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