The tragic and unexpected passing of Chadwick Boseman in 2020 left a huge impact in countless ways across the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, not only on the emotions of the cast and crew who bring the films to life, as well as its millions of fans, but also on the overall narrative of the entire franchise. Black Panther director Ryan Coogler recently recalled how the original plans for the film’s sequel were entirely upended and, rather than focusing on characters attempting to cope with the passing of T’Challa, would have focused on the character’s struggles with adapting to the fallout of Thanos’ “Blip.”
“It was, ‘What are we going to do about the Blip?’ Coogler shared with The New York Times about the original script. “That was the challenge. It was absolutely nothing like what we made. It was going to be a father-son story from the perspective of a father, because the first movie had been a father-son story from the perspective of the sons.”
He continued, “In the script, T’Challa was a dad who’d had this forced five-year absence from his son’s life. The first scene was an animated sequence. You hear Nakia [Lupita Nyong’o] talking to Toussaint [the couple’s child, introduced in “Wakanda Forever” in a post-credits sequence]. She says, ‘Tell me what you know about your father.’ You realize that he doesn’t know his dad was the Black Panther. He’s never met him, and Nakia is remarried to a Haitian dude. Then, we cut to reality and it’s the night that everybody comes back from the Blip. You see T’Challa meet the kid for the first time.”
The filmmaker went on to detail how the sequel, understandably, would have had a much lighter tone than the themes explored in Wakanda Forever, thanks in large part to the dynamic of T’Challa connecting with his son.
“Then it cuts ahead three years and he’s essentially co-parenting. We had some crazy scenes in there for Chad, man,” the filmmaker expressed. “Our code name for the movie was ‘Summer Break,’ and the movie was about a summer that the kid spends with his dad. For his eighth birthday, they do a ritual where they go out into the bush and have to live off the land. But something happens and T’Challa has to go save the world with his son on his hip. That was the movie.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is in theaters now.
What do you think of the film’s original story? Let us know in the comments!