Black Panther: Wakanda Forever co-writer/director Ryan Coogler joined Deadline’s Contenders LA3C panel to reflect on the impact of the untimely passing of Chadwick Boseman and the sensitive display of Black motherhood.
While sporting a personalized necklace that features a photo of Boseman’s 2018 Time magazine cover, Coogler recalled trying to keep the essence of Boseman alive during the making of the sequel. “[That] shoot is one of my fondest memories; hanging out with him while we were promoting [the first] film. He was just chill,” Coogler said. “So it just reminded me that I wanted to have something, while we were making the film, to remind us what we were doing it for. He was a big deal for us, and it was great to bring the world in on how we felt about him.”
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In the film, the kingdom of Wakanda finds itself under attack by world leaders and a seafaring tribe of indigenous warriors as they navigate the tremendous loss of Boseman’s King T’Challa. Shuri (Letitia Wright), Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and the Dora Milaje must find the strength to forge a new path for their nation.
“2020 was a time of so much loss and so much confusion,” Coogler continued. “It felt right for us to do a film that dealt with that, and that we could bring people in on [something] where characters are fighting superhero battles and all that stuff are also having real conversations about real things. It was a major honor for us, we wanted to do it proud. ”
Check back Wednesday for the panel video.