‘Wakanda Forever’ Director Ryan Coogler Thanks Fans: ‘This Medium Wouldn’t Exist Without An Audience’

“Gratitude. That is the only word that comes to mind,” the director wrote in a statement posted by Marvel Studios on Wednesday.

Black Panther Wakanda Forever
(L-R): Dorothy Steel as Merchant Tribe Elder, Florence Kasumba as Ayo, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Danai Gurira as Okoye in Marvel Studios' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.

Director Ryan Coogler is giving thanks this holiday to fans who have gone out to the movie theater to support Disney and Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”.

“Gratitude. That is the only word that comes to mind for your support of our work on the film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. I am filled with it,” Coogler wrote in a statement posted on Marvel’s social media accounts on Wednesday evening. “Thank you to the people who bought their tickets early and camped out opening weekend. Thank you to those of you took their families out – young ones and elders in tow. To those of you who organized youth screenings and afterparties, who bought out theaters for communities and friends. To all of you who watched multiple times, and encouraged other folks to check it out.”

He also gave thanks to audiences for “holding those bathroom breaks” and “bearing with subtitles” for the two-and-a -half hour long blockbuster that features 6 different spoken languages and for opening up to the “emotional journey” of the film that deals with the “inescapable human emotion of grief.”

The “Black Panther” sequel, which has surpassed $500 million worldwide at the global box office, was made following the tragic death of the 2018 film’s star Chadwick Boseman, who died of cancer in 2020 at age 43.

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SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 23: Director Ryan Coogler (L) and actor Chadwick Boseman attend the Marvel Studios presentation during Comic-Con International 2016 at San Diego Convention Center on July 23, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

“We made something to honor our friend, who was a giant in our industry, and we also made something to be enjoyed in a theatrical setting friends, family, and strangers,” Coogler added. “Something to be quoted and discussed. To be debated. Something to make people both physically and emotionally feel seen.”

“This medium wouldn’t exist without an audience, and I thank you for giving me professional purpose, and an emotional outlet,” the statement concluded. “I look forward to bringing you more stories in the future.”

Along with Coogler’s signature, the statement includes the tags  “Chadwick Forever” and “Long Live T’Challa.”