While speaking with The New York Times, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler revealed details about the original plans for the Black Panther sequel.
Coogler was asked about how different the story was prior to the death of iconic actor Chadwick Boseman, who received critical acclaim for his role as T’Challa/Black Panther. The director revealed that the film was set to address “The Blip” from the perspective of a father and son — specifically through the eyes of T’Challa and his son.
For the unaware, “The Blip” refers to when half of all life was wiped out by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War and then brought back five years later by the heroic team in Avengers: Endgame.
“It was, ‘What are we going to do about the Blip?’ That was the challenge,” Coogler said. “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.”
“In the script, T’Challa was a dad who’d had this forced five-year absence from his son’s life,” Coogler clarified. “The first scene was an animated sequence. You hear Nakia [Lupita Nyong’o] talking to Toussaint [the couple’s child]. 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.”
Finally, Coogler revealed that Namor [Tenoch Huerta] was still part of the original plan for the sequel, though Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ C.I.A. director, Val, would have have a bigger role in the story.
“But it was a combination. Val was much more active,” Coogler explained. “It was basically a three-way conflict between Wakanda, the U.S. and Talokan. But it was all mostly from the child’s perspective.”
Wakanda Forever saw the return of most of Black Panther‘s original main cast, including Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Winston Duke as M’Baku, and Florence Kasumba as Ayo. Joining them were franchise newcomers Tenoch Huerta (Narcos: Mexico) as Namor, Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You) as Aneka, Mabel Cadena as Namora, and Alex Livinalli as Attuma.