Director/writer Ryan Coogler accomplished what many thought would be impossible with Wakanda Forever in delivering a successful sequel without Chadwick Boseman. Now, he’s opening up about the original story he wrote.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is another commercial success for Marvel Studios, crossing the $800 million mark during its current theatrical run.
Speaking with the New York Times, Ryan Coogler spoke about what the sequel to 2018’s Black Panther was supposed to look like before Chadwick Boseman’s shocking passing.
Coogler told the news publication that the original Wakanda Forever script centered on father and son relationships. T’Challa is struggling “post-blip” after a five-year absence after turning to dust thanks to the purple menace Thanos.
Like the current iteration, the original story would also see Prince Namor (Tenoch Huerta) as the movie’s antagonist (he’s not a villain). However, the real story would be T’Challa still being tied to Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), who gave birth to their son Touissant during his absence.
The Black Panther Would Be Fighting Two Battles In The Original Wakanda Forever Story
T’Challa would be fighting multiple battles, learning to be a dad, and making up for a lot of lost time while battling the dangerous Namor as he threatens the kingdom of Wakanda.
“It was, ‘What are we going to do about the Blip?’” Coogler told 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.”
He continues, “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.”
“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.”
This kinda sounds like Boyz n The Hood with a Marvel twist. Just saying we still would have loved to see it.
The United States’ Colonizing Ways Were A Much Bigger Plot Point
In the original version, the United States and CIA Director Val (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) play a much bigger role in the three-nation conflict between Wakanda, the U.S., and Talokan over vibranium.
Still, The Current Sequel Slapped & Shuri Understood The Assignment
Coogler worked magic with the story and turned it into an account focusing on how we deal with grief. T’Challa’s death is at the center, and Shuri (Letitia Wright) goes on a journey that will eventually lead to her becoming the Black Panther.
Touissant, aka Prince T’Challa, is the secret love child of Nakia and T’Challa, leaving a sense of hope for those still screaming recast T’Challa.
Despite Boseman’s absence, Letitia Wright put on a stellar performance, and Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda is earning high praise and has already received numerous award nominations.
Newcomer Tenoch Huerta was also a scene stealer and, even though technically he’s not a villain, is one of the best antagonists in the MCU.
With either story, it sounds like Ryan Coogler would have won.
Photo: Marvel Studios / Black Panther
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