Ryan Coogler and Cast Discuss Moving on With Wakanda Forever

Ryan Coogler and Cast Discuss Moving on With Wakanda Forever

Before the unexpected death of Chadwick Boseman from the cancer he’d been keeping a secret, he and director Ryan Coogler were already developing a Black Panther sequel. Obviously, things had to change. In a new interview with Empire, the director discussed the process of moving on and redesigning what became Wakanda Forever.

Calling it “spiritually very similar” to the original premise, Coogler says of the sequel, “This unique group is more like a band than it is a group of actors, and Chad was our lead singer. So for me, it was like, ‘How do I figure out a song that they can still get up there and sing?’, in light of what we were dealing with.” In the end, he decided both the real-life tragedy and the story of the sequel had the same theme. “How do you carry on in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds?”

According to Lupita Nyong’o, “once we lost [Boseman], the thought that we could go on, it was just unfathomable to me.” But when she saw the new concept, she said ,“What Ryan ended up sharing with me was just so utterly truthful and beautiful…By the end of it, I was in tears.”

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In a separate interview, Letitia Wright said, “Shuri’s journey has allowed me to grieve, to cry, to laugh, and to gain strength that I never thought I could ever have. Trials and tribulations make you who you are. You either fold or you get up and go again. I feel like Shuri kept looking at me every day, asking me if I was gonna fold or go again. And I just kept going until healing started to happen for me.”

Asked point blank if Shuri will become the next Black Panther, she doesn’t say no, but rather, “That’s a tricky question to answer…I had a chat about it with Ryan and Chad when we were making Black Panther, and we touched on it briefly.”

Do you think she’ll don the suit? Let us know in comments!

Recommended Reading: Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1

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