Black Panther’s Director Ryan Coogler Reveals His Last Conversation With Chadwick Boseman Before His Death

Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa in Black Panther wearing the suit.
(Image credit: Marvel)

Following the success of Black Panther back in 2018, it came as no surprise that there would be a sequel in Marvel’s lineup of upcoming movies. The film was set with Ryan Coogler coming back to write and direct, and Chadwick Boseman to return in the lead role. In 2020, Boseman passed away, and while everyone mourned the death of the beloved actor, they also had to change directions with the movie. Now, Coogler is opening up about what his last conversation with the actor was about. 

The director was recently on Marvel’s podcast Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast where he talked about making the sequel, and reflected on his relationship with and the passing of Boseman. He also revealed the last thing he spoke to Boseman about, and it had to do with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, he said: 

I just finished [the script]. My last conversation with him was calling him asking him if he wanted to read it before I got notes from the studio. That was the last time we spoke. He passed maybe a couple of weeks after I finished.

This conversation was about the sequel to the 2018 film, and Coogler had offered to let Boseman read the script. The actor declined because he didn’t want to interfere with the studio’s notes, however, the director later learned he had actually declined the script because he was too tired to read it. 

Coogler also spoke about how sudden Boseman’s passing was. The actor passed away four years after being diagnosed with colon cancer. No one other than his family knew he had cancer. The director mentioned that the actor had been dealing with this disease for as long as he’d known him. 

The Black Panther sequel was going to be “rooted in T’Challa’s perspective,” according to Coogler. This means when Boseman passed, the direction of the film had to change. However, just from the trailers alone, it’s clear the actor and character’s legacy is honored and is a massive piece of the movie. 

Another challenge the creatives faced was deciding if they would recast T’Challa in the sequel, which a producer explained was not an easy decision. I’d assume this was especially difficult considering a script was already written. Even though the decision to not recast was made a long time ago, the discussion continues. While T’Challa has not been recast, we do know a character will take over the Black Panther mantel in Wakanda Forever

With the sequel up next on the 2022 movie schedule, hearing all these stories about Boseman and the making of the movie will make the film all the more meaningful. Early reviews have confirmed that the sequel does honor Boseman’s legacy.

Along with checking out the sequel next week in theaters, you can also go back and watch the Marvel movies in order to see Boseman’s incredible performance as the king of Wakanda with a Disney+ subscription

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is a Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She spent many years working in local journalism across the country writing about art, news and sports. One of her favorite films is When Harry Met Sally and she walks around constantly quoting Ted Lasso.