Black Panther 2's Angela Bassett Recalls Calling Out Ryan Coogler For One Of Wakanda Forever’s Most Tragic Scenes

Spoiler alert for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Throughout Phase Four, one of the most highly anticipated upcoming Marvel movies has been Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Ryan Coogler’s sequel finally hit theaters a week ago, and it was an emotional meditation on grief, which will no doubt greatly affect the overall shared universe. The sequel put the women of the franchise in the spotlight, including the incomparable Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda. Bassett recalls calling out Coogler for one of Black Panther 2’s most tragic scenes. Yeah, you know the one.

While Angela Bassett played a supporting role in the first Black Panther movie, Wakanda Forever gave her a much more meaty role. Unfortunately, she was also killed off when Namor and his forces attacked the Wakandan City. She died saving Riri Williams, in a truly heartbreaking sequence. After all, who doesn’t want to see her in more movies? Bassett herself recently spoke to IndieWire about her character’s story in the sequel, revealing that she actually pushed back with Ryan Coogler over her death. She said:

I objected. Yeah, I was like, ‘Ryan, what are you doing? Why? You will rue the day! You will rue the demise of [Ramonda]. People are gonna be so upset.'

I mean, she’s not wrong. Considering just how powerful her performance was throughout Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, I was definitely bummed to see Angela Bassett’s signature MCU character killed off in the critically acclaimed sequel. But the dead aren’t really gone in Wakandan culture, so perhaps we’ll still be able to see her in a future movie. 

Angela Bassett’s comments to IndieWire help to peel back the curtain on what it’s actually like making an epic Marvel movie like Black Panther 2. Ryan Coogler’s sophomore Marvel effort was greatly altered after the death of Chadwick Boseman, and it sounds like it was a collaborative environment for the actors to work out their feelings of grief. And it also made the Waiting to Exhale icon comfortable enough to challenge Ryan Coogler regarding Ramonda’s death.

Later in that same interview, Angela Bassett explained how Ryan Coogler reacted when she pushed back about her death in Black Panther 2. He used Wakandan lore to help justify this tragic plot twist, as she shared:

He was like, ‘Angela, I know, I know, but look, to die is not really to die in this world. It doesn’t really have to mean that.’

Indeed, Queen Ramonda did get to return for one more brief scene. When Shuri finally gets the upper hand on Namor and is about to kill him, she sees a vision of Angela Bassett’s character in the ancestral plane. This inspires her decision not to carry out revenge, and instead form an alliance with the Talokan. And in doing that, she saves the team carrying out the mission in the Atlantic Ocean.

Black Panther 2’s ending left the fictional country of Wakanda in a fascinating place. While Shuri is the new Panther, M’Baku was the one who challenged for the throne. Additionally, it looks like Everett Ross might be taking up residence there, after being rescued from custody for helping them. And of course, the reveal of T’Challa’s son might offer another claim to the throne.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is in theaters now and making tons of money. Be sure to check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. Just don’t expect to see any Marvel movies, as they won’t return to theaters with Ant-Man 2 in Phase Five.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.