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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Director Discusses T’Challa’s Illness

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler recently spoke about how he handled T’Challa/Chadwick Boseman’s passing in the Marvel sequel.


When asked about why they started the sequel with T’Challa’s death, Coogler explained his reasoning.

“We wanted to have an emotionally intelligent conversation,” Coogler told The New York Times. “It’s about the transformative quality of grief and trauma. There’s this expectation with emotional trauma that you just need time. ‘Oh, give them a couple weeks off; they’ll come back to work and get back to it.’ But that person is completely different in some ways. You just don’t see it because the change isn’t visible.”

The director was then asked about why he decided T’Challa would die of an illness suddenly, as he does in the final film. He said it comes down to Shuri’s journey.

“We wanted to keep it simple,” Coogler explained. “At the end of the day, what mattered is that she had a self-expectation of being able to be solve it and she failed. And we didn’t want her to have anywhere to displace her anger. If somebody else would’ve taken T’Challa out, Shuri would’ve looked for that person. We wanted it to be a situation where the only place to go was internal.”

Wakanda Forever saw the return of most of Black Panther‘s original main cast, including Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Winston Duke as M’Baku, and Florence Kasumba as Ayo. Joining them were franchise newcomers Tenoch Huerta (Narcos: Mexico) as Namor, Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You) as Aneka, Mabel Cadena as Namora, and Alex Livinalli as Attuma.