In Original ‘Black Panther 2’ Script, Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa Grieved ‘the Loss of Time’ After the Blip

Ryan Coogler revealed the plans for the story had Boseman not died from colon cancer in an interview with Inverse

Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan in "Black Panther" (Marvel Studios)

Ryan Coogler’s original “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” script still contained grief. But instead of the grief of losing King T’Challa entirely with the too-early death of actor Chadwick Boseman, it centered on T’Challa’s loss of time in the five-year blip.

“The tonal shift, I will say, was less of a shift than in [casting],” Coogler said in an interview with Inverse.

T’Challa vanished during “The Blip” brought upon half the world’s population by Thanos, and had Bosman been alive to reprise his role as the Black Panther, Coogler envisioned the King of Wakanda grasping to return to normal after his absence during “The Blip.”

“The tone was going to be similar,” Coogler said. “The character was going to be grieving the loss of time, you know, coming back after being gone for five years. As a man with so much responsibility to so many, coming back after a forced five years absence, that’s what the film was tackling. He was grieving time he couldn’t get back. Grief was a big part of it.”

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” received a rewrite following Boseman’s death — after which Feige stated there would be no recasting of the character since it was much too soon. Coogler worked with co-writer Joe Robert Cole to rework the plot and protagonist. Namor the Sub-mariner (Tenoch Huerta) remained the antagonist.

“There were other characters, for sure, that we considered including,” Coogler said. “Namor was always there.”

The film’s final version begins with the onscreen death of T’Challa, reflecting Bosman’s passing, which leads the Kingdom of Wakanda — including T’Challa’s mother Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and his smart scientist sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) — to stick to the mission of protecting the secluded nation’s invaluable supply of vibranium from external threats.

Enter Namor, who emerges from the depths in the sequel film, which finds Wakanda in a war with Namor’s underwater kingdom Talokan. “Wakanda Forever” seeks a new Black Panther to wear the mantle while simultaneously paying homage to the legacy Boseman left behind. 

“Who the protagonist was, the flaws of the protagonist, what the protagonist was dealing with in their journey,” Coogler said. “All of that stuff had to be different due to us losing him and the decisions that we made about moving forward.”

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” opens in theaters November 11.