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BAFTA David Lean Lecture: Ryan Coogler

Source: Jeff Spicer/BAFTA / Getty

Movie plots get scrapped constantly, often because of the cast. 

Director Ryan Coogler recently touched on one of those moments when he had to switch up Black Panther when Chadwick Boseman died after a private battle with colon cancer in 2016.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever finds the nation trying not to get overrun after T’Challa’s death just two years prior. The film saw major success and became the second biggest opening of 2022, with $180 million in America and Canada alone.

However, Coogler told the New York Times that the original follow-up to the 2016 blockbuster Black Panther was originally about the relationship between father and sons.

It was set to be focused on life after the Thanos-induced Blip, that killed off millions of people. Prince Namor would have still been featured as the primary villain, but T’Challa would have been seen in a new light as Nakia would have given birth to their child.

“It was, ‘What are we going to do about the Blip?’” Coogler said to the Times. “That was the challenge. 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.”

Coogler continues on the shelved plot lines, explaining that Nakia has since remarried and reveals that T’Challa’s son Toussaint, is unaware of his father’s greatness.

“The first scene was an animated sequence. You hear Nakia talking to Toussaint. 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.”

The original film even featured T’Challa and his son teaming up to go save the world.

“We had some crazy scenes in there for Chad, man. Our code name for the movie was ‘Summer Break,’ and the movie was about a summer that the kid spends with his dad. For his eighth birthday, they do a ritual where they go out into the bush and have to live off the land. But something happens, and T’Challa has to go save the world with his son on his hip. That was the movie,” Ryan Coogler said.

Director Ryan Coogler Details Original ‘Black Panther’ Sequel Before Chadwick Boseman’s Death  was originally published on