The award-winning film director questioned his career following the passing of the late, great actor and friend.
Director Ryan Coogler has stated that he nearly quit filmmaking when Chadwick Boseman passed away.
Coogler directed the late star, who passed away in 2020 at the age of 43 after a long and quiet battle with colon cancer, in Marvel Studios' 2018 success 'Black Panther'. The franchise follow-up, 'Wakanda Forever', sees Coogler once again return to the director's chair but the role of T'Challa/Black Panther has not been recast.
The filmmaker spoke with Entertainment Weekly this week about the struggle of going back to his day job, which was a bittersweet moment for him, his team, and all of the film's stars who had worked so closely with Boseman in the past. After all, the actor was a close friend and had shaped so much of what that character meant to people around the world.
Coogler, 36, admitted in the interview: "I was at a point when I was like, 'I’m walking away from this business.' 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?' I was poring over a lot of our conversations that we had, towards what I realised was the end of his life… I decided that it made more sense to keep going."
Ryan Coogler and his team put their heart and soul into the sequel film in honour of Chadwick Boseman. As we can see in the most recent trailer of the Marvel film, which was released just yesterday, the returning actors and their characters (including Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Winston Duke and Danai Gurira) are mourning the loss of their great leader.
Lupita Nyong’o, who plays Nakia, a brief love interest for T'Challa during the first film, previously said that making 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' was "very therapeutic", adding "to make this film against all odds is a powerful statement unto itself".
Film producer Nate Moore said this sequel will focus on how these Wakandans deal with their grief: "The movie is very much about how you move forward while dealing with a tragic loss. All of the characters, both old and new, are dealing with how loss can affect your actions in ways that are emotional and surprising."
'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' arrives in cinemas on November 11.