‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Original Story Detailed By Writer-Director Ryan Coogler



Ryan Coogler has revealed the complicated backstory on what his film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was supposed to be before the tragic death of the original film’s star, Chadwick Boseman.

Speaking to the New York Times, Coogler said the original intent was to make the film’s center about the relationship of fathers and sons. The struggle would have dealt with T’Challa’s five-year absence after “The Blip,” the Thanos-induced mass extermination that saw half the universe’s population reduced to dust, only to be brought back later.

The sequel still would have had Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner, as its villain. But T’Challa would have been tied to his love interest Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), who gave birth to a son, Toussaint, while he was away. Dealing with that new reality would have been the focus even as the Black Panther battled Namor.

“It was, “What are we going to do about the Blip?” Coogler said to the Times. “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.”

Coogler continued. “In the (original) script, T’Challa was a dad who’d had this forced five-year absence from his son’s life,” Coogler said. “The first scene was an animated sequence. You hear Nakia talking to Toussaint. 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.”

Cut to three years after the conclusion of the The Avengers: Infinity War.

“Then it cuts ahead three years, and he’s essentially co-parenting,” Coogler continued. “We had some crazy scenes in there for Chad, man. 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.”

The rewritten version of Wakanda Forever became a meditation on grief and vengeance centered on T’Challa’s sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright), who eventually becomes the new Black Panther.

Coogler added that Val [the C.I.A. director, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus] was much more active in the original plan. “It was basically a three-way conflict between Wakanda, the US, and Talokan (the underwater kingdom ruled by Namor.) But it was all mostly from the child’s perspective.”