Chadwick Boseman Got The First Draft Of Black Panther 2 Before His Death. Ryan Coogler Tears Up Explaining He Never Read It

Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa sitting on a throne in Black Panther.
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

A sequel to Black Panther was one of those things that we knew was going to happen. The film wasn't just a massive financial success, becoming the highest grossing domestic movie of 2018, exceeding even Avengers: Infinity War, it was a cultural phenomenon. The movie impacted people by telling a story with an almost entirely Black cast that resonated on a global scale. 

We know that the movie we’re getting this weekend in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is not the film anybody was planning to make, but it turns out Ryan Coogler did complete a draft of the script before Chadwick Boseman passed away, but the Black Panther was never even able to read it.

It was unclear during the lead up to Black Panther 2 how much work Ryan Coogler had actually completed on his original vision for the sequel that would have included Chadwick Boseman. Boseman passed away two years before the film was set to be released, so it was possible that a script had never been finished. 

However, Ryan Coogler tells Variety that he had completed the first draft of the script. He sent it to Boseman, with the expectation that the two would discuss it. Unfortunately, Coogler says Boseman died before he could read it. The director had trouble talking about it…

He hadn’t read it. I found out later he was … I can write this. It’s harder for me to say it.

What Coogler wrote down for Variety was that Boseman was apparently too tired to read the script, the exact wording isn't given, it may have been too private. Boseman's illness had apparently progressed to the point that even reading took too much out of him. The fact that two years later Ryan Coogler still has trouble talking about it shows how personal this was for him, and so many of the core cast and crew of Black Panther. It’s clear these people were more than just co-workers making a movie together.

It’s said this first draft was completed in the summer of 2020, and Chadwick Boseman died at the end of August, so that script was done only weeks before he passed away. Since Boseman had never been able to read it, there were no notes to use toward a second draft, so this is apparently as far as this version of the movie ever got.

Following the death of Chadwick Boseman, it would become a question if Black Panther 2 would happen at all. If it did. Would the character of T’Challa be recast, or would the movie move forward without the character? In the end, the latter choice was made. The movie became a story about dealing with with the death of T’Challa, echoing the way the friends of Chadwick Boseman were dealing with the loss of him.  

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.