Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s Director Ryan Coogler Talks Nearly Quitting Filmmaking After Chadwick Boseman's Death

A mural of T'Challa as part of his funeral procession in the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer
(Image credit: Marvel/Disney)

Ryan Coogler has a monumental task on his hands while crafting and directing Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. He lost his friend and leading man Chadwick Boseman in 2020 amid crafting the anticipated sequel. Boseman’s death shifted the vision he and Coogler had crafted together for the Marvel superhero. In the wake of his late friend’s passing, the Oscar-nominated director wanted to pay tribute to him while moving the burgeoning franchise forward. While fans are amped to see what Coogler has in store for Wakanda, he debated leaving the sequel and Hollywood behind completely. The Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director explained why he nearly quit filmmaking after Boseman’s death.

Not having the Black Panther star in the film left a major hole amongst the cast and crew. But his passing shattered the director a bit harder than fans might’ve expected. But it shouldn’t be surprising given Coogler explained filming without Boseman was the hardest thing for him to do. Before getting behind the camera, he wasn’t sure if he ever wanted to do a sequel or another film at all. The Black Panther director explained to EW why he almost walked away from the entertainment industry.

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?'

Contemplating his future in Hollywood was understandable in the wake of such personal loss. Grief would have anyone rethinking various aspects of their lives. For Coogler, losing the Oscar nominee was less about business and more about the connection they formed. It seemed like the director lost his muse in Boseman. As the Black Panther director mentioned, he didn’t want to collaborate with another actor only to have his heart broken again.

As Coogler doubted whether he’d make another movie again, he chose to revisit old videos of him and Boseman together as well as interviews with the late actor. Reviewing the footage reportedly allowed him to hear Boseman advocating for the Marvel franchise. Hearing his late friend push the Fruitvale Station director to “keep going” with Black Panther 2.

Thankfully, the film producer could move forward while paying tribute to the late actor’s memory as seen in the new emotional trailer. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is poised to be a major hit as Coogler and Marvel keep the new Black Panther's identity a secret. The film will see Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, and Winston Duke coming back to Wakanda. Marvel fans will also be introduced to Tenoch Huerta’s Namor and Dominque Thorne’s Riri Williams. Fans are eager to return to the fictional country, with some even re-watching the Marvel movies in order before catching the new release.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will hit theaters on November 11. The sequel serves as the final Phase 4 outing before the rest of the upcoming Marvel movies premiering over the next few years. In the meantime, more upcoming movies will arrive cinemas in 2022.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).