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European premiere of 'Black Panther' at the Eventim Apollo - Arrivals

Source: Joe/ / WENN

Ever since the shocking passing of Chadwick “T’Challa” Boseman last year, fans have been pondering what’s to become of the Black Panther franchise that he helped turn into a worldwide phenomenon.

With the star of the franchise no longer here to carry it for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, many have speculated how the sequel would work without Boseman donning the Wakandan vibranium in the next film. In a recent interview with Jemele Hill on her podcast, Unbothered, director and writer, Ryan Coogler spoke on working on Black Panther 2 without Boseman, and how it’s affected him personally.

Like many of us, Coogler is still processing the loss of Boseman and we can only imagine how much more real it became when work on Black Panther 2 got underway. “This is one of the more profound things that I’ve gone through in my life,” Coogler explained. “Having to be a part of keeping this project going without this particular person who is like the glue who held it together.”

Still, Ryan is extremely grateful he was one of the lucky few who was able to get to know Chadwick on a personal level while he was still with us and it is something he’ll carry with him for the rest of his life. “I’m also incredibly motivated that I got to spend time with him. You spend your life hearing about people like him. For this individual, who is an ancestor now, I was there for it.”

With production on Black Panther 2 set to begin this June, Ryan says that moving forward with things is “the hardest thing i’ve had to do in my professional life.”

While we await word on who will carry the torch that T’Challa left behind, rumors have swirled that old stock footage that wasn’t used in Black Panther will be used to include Boseman in some way, shape or form in the pending sequel. Other rumors include Shuri (Letita Wright” picking up the vibranium mantle and even Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) returning as a hero to rule Wakanda.

Guess we’ll have to wait and see which approach Ryan Coogler takes for one of the most highly anticipated movie sequels in Hip-Hop culture history.

Black Panther 2 is set to drop on July 8, 2022.