BLACK PANTHER 2: Ryan Coogler Explains His Decision To Return As Director After Chadwick Boseman's Death

BLACK PANTHER 2: Ryan Coogler Explains His Decision To Return As Director After Chadwick Boseman's Death

Following the tragic, sudden death of Chadwick Boseman, Marvel Studios decided to continue making the Black Panther sequel without T'Challa. Now, director Ryan Coogler explains why he's still directing.

The world was left reeling last August when it was revealed that Chadwick Boseman had passed away after a lengthy, secret battle with cancer. Those who knew the actor best took the news hardest, and there was some uncertainty surrounding whether Black Panther 2 would end up happening. 

Director Ryan Coogler had finished the screenplay at the time of Boseman's death, and later rewrote that. T'Challa will not be in the sequel, and it's thought another character will take over the mantle.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Coogler explained his decision to remain part of the Marvel Studios project, revealing that he knows Boseman would have wanted them to press on with the movie. Despite that, returning to the MCU wasn't an easy prospect for the filmmaker. 

"It’s difficult," Coogler acknowledged. "You’ve got to keep going when you lose loved ones. I know Chad wouldn’t have wanted us to stop. He was somebody who was so about the collective. ‘Black Panther,’ that was his movie. He was hired to play that role before anybody else was even thought of, before I was hired, before any of the actresses were hired."

"On that set, he was all about everybody else. Even though he was going through what he was going through, he was checking in on them, making sure they were good," he continued. "If we cut his coverage, he would stick around and read lines off-camera [to help other actors with their performances]. So it would be harder for me to stop. Truthfully. I’d feel him yelling at me, like, ‘What are you doing?’ So you keep going."

We still don't know what the plan for Black Panther 2 is, or which character will take over the mantle. More details are likely to be revealed soon, though, as the sequel will be released next July.


Click the "Next" button below to see the
characters we think could appear in Black Panther II!

10. Monica Lynne

Monica

Nakia wasn't the most interesting of love interests for T'Challa in the first Black Panther movie, so if Marvel Studios is looking to move on from her (don't worry, we have some other ideas for how the character could be used), then Monica Lynne would be a great choice to fill that particular void. 

In the comic books, Monica Lynne is a singer who saves the hero from drowning after he's defeated by Erik Killmonger. She ultimately became his long-term love interest, and was involved in many of T'Challa's adventures. If he doesn't factor into the sequel, though, there are other ways Monica could be used. For example, why can't she be a love interest for Shuri here instead?

That would be a groundbreaking move for Marvel Studios, and one which brings even more diversity to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the possible new face of the Black Panther franchise.
 

9. S'Yan

SYan

S'Yan is T'Challa's uncle and T'Chaka's brother. N'Jobu was portrayed as the King of Wakanda's brother in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, of course, but there's no reason there can't be another sibling!

In the comic books, S'Yan inherited the title of King and Black Panther until his nephew T'Challa was ready for the throne, and remained at his side as a counsellor in the years that followed. There are definitely ways the character could be used in this sequel, and he's someone with a limited enough history that Marvel Studios probably wouldn't struggle to completely reinvent him.

We'd love to continue exploring the history of the Black Panther mantle, though, so if there's a way that could be incorporated into the sequel via S'Yan, it could be a game-changer for the franchise.
 

8. Namor The Sub-Mariner

Namor1

Avengers: Endgame included an Easter Egg which definitely appeared to point to Atlantis factoring into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and possibly Black Panther 2. That sequel would be the perfect place to introduce Namor the Sub-Mariner, especially given the complicated history the two kings share. 

They clashed on a number of occasions over the years, and while it's hard to say what could lead to a clash between Wakanda and Atlantis, it could prove to be something as simple as whoever holds the Black Panther mantle deciding to investigate what the undersea earthquake was Okoye initially dismissed.

Namor's big screen debut is long overdue at this stage, and this could be the perfect place to bring him into this shared world and make the anti-hero a huge part of future stories that unfold there.
 

7. Malice

Malice

Malice was initially introduced as one of Killmonger's mutated allies during his vie for the throne of Wakanda. The time has now passed for that in some respects, but taking Nakia down a villainous route (especially if she's mourning the death of T'Challa) could be an interesting, unexpected twist. 

Her comic book history is somewhat convoluted, but there's plenty of potential there to use Nakia in a different light. She's died and been resurrected - that played a big role in why she headed down such a dark route - but there are a lot of fun ways her villainous transformation could be handled. 

After initially appearing to be one of T'Challa's closest allies, the sequel could reveal that she was corrupted somewhere along the way and actually played a role in his death. That would make Shuri's battle with her personal, and give Lupita Nyong'o a much more interesting role in this follow-up.
 

6. Achebe

SHuri

Achebe is one of Black Panther's weirder villains, but someone who could definitely stand to be reinvented in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While his real identity is unknown, it's thought he may have once been a farmer whose family was killed when their home was attacked. 

In order to get his revenge, he made a deal with Mephisto, and it's this which led to him clashing with T'Challa. Achebe's home borders Wakanda, and he ultimately incites a war to punish those who he believes wronged him. Ultimately, the villain even manages to infiltrate the Wakandan government, and all of this could lend itself well to a movie that delves into the country's politics.

Just like Erik Killmonger made T'Challa look at his world in a different way, so too could Achebe, and there are countless ways the villain could be reinvented and reimagined for the MCU. 
 

5. Spider-Man

Spiderman

When Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures agreed to a new deal which would keep Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (for now), it was for Spider-Man 3 and a future appearance in one of the Disney-owned movies. There are plenty of possibilities for that, but why not make it Black Panther 2?

While the wall-crawler may not initially seem like a natural fit for this sequel, fans have been desperate for a while now to see Peter Parker and Shuri match wits given their similarity in age and intelligence.

It doesn't seem overly likely that Peter will make his way to Wakanda, but if Shuri finds herself visiting the U.S. again, there are any number of ways the two heroes could cross paths. Of course, there is one good reason for why Spidey might head to the Black Panther's home, but we'll get to that...
 

4. Storm

Storm

If there's one thing most fans don't seem particularly keen on seeing explored in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's the romance between T'Challa and Storm. It was never received really received that well in the comic books, and the end of their marriage actually came as a relief for the most part. 

However, with mutants now set to join this shared world, there's absolutely no reason a young Storm couldn't show up in Wakanda. Tying her to that fictional nation actually makes a lot of sense, and Black Panther 2 could serve as an origin story of sorts for Ororo Munroe before she finds her way into a future X-Men movie (seeing her team-up with Shuri would be a blast too).

Storm is a character whose potential was never really explored by Fox, so Marvel Studios taking an in-depth approach to her story before that eventual team-up would be no a bad thing.
 

3. Erik Killmonger

Killmonger

Erik Killmonger's death in Black Panther appeared to be as definitive as they come, but there have been rumours for a while now that Michael B. Jordan is actually set to somehow reprise the role!

Resurrections in the world of comic books do happen, and Killmonger could obviously factor into flashbacks or something similar. Either way, it's hard to escape the feeling that the potential is there for more stories to be told with one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's most complex villains.

Who knows, if he somehow survived those injuries at the end of the first movie, perhaps Killmonger will end up being recruited by Baron Zemo for his Thunderbolts? T'Challa was, after all, the one who took him into custody in Captain America: Civil War, so he may very well be out for vengeance here.
 

2. Kraven The Hunter

Kraven

We mentioned Spider-Man a little earlier in this feature, and if Spider-Man 3 is indeed going to introduce or tease Kraven the Hunter, then there's no reason at all he couldn't appear in this Black Panther sequel. After a quick defeat at the hands of the web-slinger, perhaps the Black Panther will be his next target? Either way, we know Ryan Coogler is interested in the villain. 

He actually wanted to include Kraven in the first movie, but was unable to do so due to rights issues. However, with Marvel Studios and Sony on good terms, the villain could easily show up in Spider-Man 3, serve as one of the lead big bads in Black Panther 2, and then appear in his own spinoff - which is being directed by J.C. Chandor - for a "Kraven's Last Hunt" adaptation.

Mixing the worlds of Kraven and Black Panther makes a lot of sense, so fingers crossed on this one.
 

1. Black Panther (Shuri)

SHuri

Look, we know that Shuri is going to be in Black Panther 2 as it's already been reported that actress Letitia Wright is expected to play a larger role in proceedings in Ryan Coogler's upcoming sequel.

However, it would mean something completely different for Shuri to become the new Black Panther in the movie. The recently released book, The Wakanda Files, confirmed that the young genius has been hard at work attempting to recreate the affects of Wakanda's Heart-Shaped Herb, so perhaps it's that which grants T'Challa's younger sister superpowers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Either way, if T'Challa's story is going to come to an end as a result of Chadwick Boseman's death, then it's a logical next step for Shuri to take over the mantle and become the new Black Panther.
 

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