The team behind Wakanda Forever, Marvel Studios’ next film, suffered heavily from the loss of Chadwick Boseman, the actor that became Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After his death, the people responsible for the sequel felt obligated to rewrite the plot to adapt to this new reality. During a press conference we were able to attend, Kevin Feige and Nate Moore spoke openly about their dilemma: to keep going with the project or scrap everything.
To do or not to do, that is the question
“What I remember about it is the shock turning into ‘ well, what do we do?, what should we do?, should we do something?’ Early on it was decided that this incredible cast of characters, as well as the world they had created, had to continue.” The director had already worked on a version of the movie with T’Challa as the protagonist, so they had to shift their focus and modify the whole story.
“When we lost Chad all of that was removed from the movie. We kept going with the idea of celebrating Wakanda and his character,” although, to do so they had to add “grief, of course”. Chadwick Boseman’s passing forced Marvel Studios to alter the protagonist’s destiny, but the grief that was planned not only stayed, but was amplified on the screen.
“It’s not just grief,” added producer Nate Moore. “Sometimes it’s also fun and humor. It’s all of the emotions that one feels when facing a great loss. We have a collection of talent and characters, all of them with a different point of view of the loss. I think Ryan [Coogler, the director] found ways to express the different colors of grief through the cast” and not only through the people of Wakanda. The same thing happens with the loss Namor and the Talokan feel about the conquest of their homeland.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is coming to theaters on November 11, 2022.