The plot of Ryan Coogler’s original script for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now being revealed. In an interview with The New York Times, the Black Panther filmmaker, 36, said that before Chadwick Boseman’s death from colon cancer in 2020, he and fellow screenwriter Joe Robert Cole had intended to focus the sequel on T’Challa’s struggle to learn how to be a father.
According to Coogler, who noted that they had shared the script with Boseman in 2020, “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.” Additionally, the “blip,” which occurred in Avengers: Infinity War and caused T’Challa and other Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) characters to vanish for five years, had to be accommodated, according to Coogler. He claimed that when T’Challa returned from the event, he would learn that he and Lupita Nyong’o’s character, Nakia, had a son, Toussaint.
Coogler revealed, “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 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 said, “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.”
In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the writers ultimately decided to maintain that plot point, presenting Toussaint to T’Challa’s sister Shuri, who is played by Letitia Wright, in an end credits scene.
Coogler also stated, “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.”
Furthermore, he disclosed that Val, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who is the MCU’s new C.I.A. head, was planned to play a “more active” role in the film.
“It was basically a three-way conflict between Wakanda, the U.S., and Talokan,” according to Coogler. “But it was all mostly from the child’s perspective.”
Moreover, instead of recasting T’Challa, Coogler decided to modify the script to emphasize how his death, which mirrors Boseman’s, affected Wright’s character Shuri and the rest of the group. So, the final script, according to Nyong’o, 39, Coogler “wrote something that so honored the truth of what every one of us was feeling, those of us who knew Chadwick.” She added, “He created something that could honor that and carry the story forward. By the end, I was weeping.”