Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: 6 revelations about film's original plot from before Chadwick Boseman's death
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was to have a different storyline before Chadwick Boseman's tragic death. Director Ryan Coogler recently revealed details about the same.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever released in November this year and the Marvel film received rave reviews for how it handled Chadwick Boseman's death and paid him an emotional tribute in the storyline. The film's cast also opened up about coming together to honour Boseman who famously played the superhero, Black Panther in the original film and as well as the other Avengers movies.
In a recent interview with New York Times, director Ryan Coogler opened up about working on the sequel and also revealed the changes the script went through after the sudden demise of Boseman. The director spoke about the themes that were initially to be explored in the film through Chadwick's character which were eventually changed in the sequel.
Black Panther 2 was supposed to be a 'father-son' story
Speaking to New York Times, Coogler revealed how the initial plot of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was to revolve around T’Challa’s five-year absence after The Blip and would have been tied to his love interest Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), who gave birth to a son, Toussaint, while he was away. He said, "It was, 'What are we going to do about the Blip?' 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."
Was Namor a part of the original storyline?
Tenoch Huerta's Prince Namor was the lead antagonist in the sequel and with revelations about the original script being different from the film, filmmaker Ryan Coogler also confirmed that Namor was always going to be a part of the film. With Boseman's character, the film would explore him dealing with the new reality in the post-Blip world while also battling Namor.
Black Panther 2 was to have an animated opening sequence
As revealed by Coogler, the film was to open with an animated sequence where Nyong’o's Nakia is heard to talking to her son Toussaint. Revealing details about the same, he said, "In the (original) script, T’Challa was a dad who’d had this forced five-year absence from his son’s life." Speaking about the first scene, he added, "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."
Black Panther 2's code name was 'Summer Break'
Talking about how the film would pick up three years after the conclusion of The Avengers: Infinity War, the director added that he was to show T'Challa's character co-parenting his son with Nakia. Coogler also explained why they had a code name for the movie which was "Summer Break" and said, "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."
Julia Louis-Dreyfus' role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Julia Louis-Dreyfus who made her Marvel debut with Falcon and the Winter Soldier series as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine was also a part of Black Widow's post-credits scene. She also returned in Back Panther: Wakanda Forever where her storyline was connected to her ex-husband, Martin Freeman's Everett Ross, whom she got arrested for secretly working alongside the Wakandans. Speaking about her role having a different approach in the original script, Ryan added that she had a much more active role saying, "It was basically a three-way conflict between Wakanda, the US, and Talokan (the underwater kingdom ruled by Namor.) But it was all mostly from the child’s perspective."
Following the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman on August 28, 2020, though, the movie's direction changed and the focus of the script shifted to T’Challa’s sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright), who eventually becomes the new Black Panther. The film also explored deep emotions of grief and revenge in a much different manner as it made sure to focus on honouring Boseman and T'Challa's legacy in the most meditative manner.
Previously, Coogler spoke about the challenge of working on the Black Panther sequel after Chadwick's death. While attending the delivering the David Lean lecture at Bafta in December, he said, "I was a director without a lead actor, tasked to make a film about a hero when we’d just lost ours. So the question was, how do you move on when your very existence, your very identity, was defined by another person, and you lose them? That question motivated us to complete the film."
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