The director of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Ryan Coogler, has shared the original plot of the film featuring Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa.
The MCU’s latest theatrical release marked the end of Phase 4 of the MCU and opened to largely positive reviews upon release. The film follows Shuri and Ramonda as they try to deal with the grief following the death of T’Challa aka Black Panther.
The film was originally supposed to be made with Chadwick Boseman reprising his role as Black Panther. However, his tragic death in 2020 changed things for the film. The script was then altered to let Shuri take up the mantle of Black Panther and carry on T’Challa’s legacy.
Weeks after release, director Ryan Coogler opens up about the original plot of the film and shares the details of what they had in mind initially. While speaking to The New York Times, Coogler explains how the film was originally supposed to be fun father-son story, exploring how T’Challa met Toussaint for the first time and how their relationship further developed.
It was, “What are we going to do about the Blip?” [In Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War,” T’Challa is one of billions of people who suddenly vanish, only to be brought back by the Avengers five years later.] 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.
“In the script, T’Challa was a dad who’d had this forced five-year absence from his son’s life. The first scene was an animated sequence. You hear Nakia [T’Challa’s love interest, played by Lupita Nyong’o] talking to Toussaint [the couple’s child, introduced in “Wakanda Forever” in a post-credits sequence]. 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. 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.Coogler
Though none of Coogler’s plans could become a part of reality, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever still managed to win hearts and became an apt ending to Phase 4. It was clear from the beginning that the film is, above all, a tribute to Boseman’s glorious legacy in the MCU.
The film also gives Shuri a beautiful character arc. Although in the beginning she is hesitant to accept that her brother is gone and remains in denial about T’Challa’s death, she is able to channel her rage eventually and take up her brother’s mantle.
Ramonda’s death further establishes the end of an era for Wakanda, with M’Baku taking her place on the throne. In other words, the film really feels like the end of a long story. But at the same time, it also hints at a new beginning.
The post-credits scene features T’Challa’s son, Toussaint, which indicates that his legacy will live on and also illustrates the theme of rebirth. Moreover, the film also introduces Riri Williams aka Ironheart, who will most likely play a significant role in Phase 5 of the MCU. She is considered to be the successor of Iron Man in the MCU.
Only time will tell how Shuri, Toussaint and Ironheart will contribute to the next phase of the MCU, but here’s hoping for the best.
About Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is an upcoming American superhero film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It will serve as the sequel to Black Panther (2018) and will be the 30th film in the MCU. The film is being written and directed by Ryan Coogler.
Wakanda grieves the loss of their King T’Challa as the nation deals with opening up their technology to the world. But apart from the diplomatic agencies’ onslaught, Wakanda must face yet another danger as the king of Talcon, an underwater nation like DC’s Atlantis, Namor, has declared war on Wakanda.
Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, and Angela Bassett will star in the film, which will premiere on November 11, 2022.