Ryan Coogler Opens Up About Why He Has Trouble Having The ‘Did They Consider Recasting Chadwick Boseman’ Conversation With Anyone Not Involved With Black Panther 2

Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa on the throne
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a wildly successful franchise, but a few properties stand out as fan favorites. Black Panther is definitely in that category, with its sequel Wakanda Forever expected to make a ton of money at the box office on its opening weekend. Ryan Coogler was once again behind the camera for the movie, which has been one of the most hotly anticipated upcoming Marvel movies throughout Phase Four. And Coogler recently opened up about why he has trouble having the “did they consider recasting Chadwick Boseman” with anyone not involved in the Black Panther franchise. And smart money says he’s been asked plenty of times.

Creed filmmaker Ryan Coogler helped to create a truly immersive corner of the MCU with the Black Panther franchise, which has finally returned to theaters– to the joy of fans. The first movie was a global sensation, and generations of fans were shocked when learning about the passing of lead actor Chadwick Boseman. While some fans wanted to see T’Challa stay in the shared universe via recasting, that seemingly wasn’t entertained by the cast/crew. Coogler spoke to Uproxx about the pain of losing the late actor, and why didn’t care to debate whether another actor should take on the mantle from Boseman. As he put it,

I’ll put it to you like this … I’ll put it to you like this: it’s actually difficult to have that conversation with people who don’t know us and weren’t there when we made the first one. I actually understand that, I extend grace to people as best I can because I know that they would never get it. You know what I mean? Unless you were there with us for those several hundred days and years, you wouldn’t understand what he meant to us. You wouldn’t understand what he meant to the chosen family that was the people that made that movie. I get it, from a distance, somebody might say, ‘Hey, why didn’t you all do this?’

It certainly sounds like the cast and crew developed a strong bond while working on the original Black Panther movie. Chadwick Boseman was obviously a big part of this, as he was leading the cast and helping to set the tone of the set. And it’s due to this real-life connection that bringing in another reactor for T’Challa was out of the question for Wakanda Forever

Black Panther 2 honors Chadwick Boseman in a variety of ways throughout its 161-minute runtime, including with Marvel Studios’ opening crawl. It’s also powerful because the characters are mourning T’Challa while the actors/fans are mourning the loss of Boseman. And overall it creates a fascinating meditation on grief.

Later in that same interview, Ryan Coogler further explained why he didn’t care to discuss recasting T’Challa with fans or those who weren’t involved in the Black Panther franchise. While some wanted to see the character live in the shared universe, that came with a unique set of emotions. As Coogler further shared:

People are prisoners of their own perspectives. Your perspective is all you have. I get it. We were there. We are the ones who made it with him. He was an irreplaceable person, it’s as simple as that. For us, because we came to know him, because we came to know him through the process of creating that work, the two are very much linked for us. Maybe not for other people, but for us it is. To answer the question, was that ever seriously considered? It’s difficult to say if it was ever seriously considered. We considered just about everything, but like I said, I considered not making another one or taking myself out of the picture. We ran the gamut of thoughts, but we wouldn’t make a good movie that way. You know what I’m saying? It’s the truth. I don’t know that we would’ve made a movie at all.

Clearly the Black Panther franchise means a great deal to Ryan Coogler personally, as well as professionally. He previously described continuing the story after Chadwick Boseman’s death as the most difficult task of his career. The acclaimed filmmaker even considered quitting directing altogether, as the loss was that severe. But given the acclaimed response to Wakanda Forever, smart money says fans will be glad he didn’t.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is in theaters now, marking the final movie installment in Phase Four of the MCU. Be sure to check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience, just don’t expect to see another Marvel title. Instead the franchise continues to expand thanks to shows and specials on Disney+. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. 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 favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.