‘Wakanda Forever’: Original Story Had T’Challa Coping With Aftermath Of Thanos’ “Blip”

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens next week, and for a lot of fans it’ll be a chance to deal with their grief over the loss of Chadwick Boseman. The sequel was much the same thing for director Ryan Coogler and the cast, as they’ve often spoken about in interviews. But that also begs the question, what would the story have been if Boseman were still around? It turns out that grief and loss was still very much on the table, just in a different way.

Coogler spoke with Inverse about the original plans for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and it turns out the story would’ve dealt with T’Challa mourning the loss of five years of his life due to the “blip” caused by Thanos…

The tone was going to be similar. The character was going to be grieving the loss of time, you know, coming back after being gone for five years. As a man with so much responsibility to so many, coming back after a forced five years absence, that’s what the film was tackling. He was grieving time he couldn’t get back. Grief was a big part of it…“Who the protagonist was, the flaws of the protagonist, what the protagonist was dealing with in their journey, all of that stuff had to be different due to us losing him and the decisions that we made about moving forward.”

The script was completely rewritten after Boseman’s death, with the focus changing from T’Challa to the people of Wakanda as they mourned the loss of their king. But one thing that remained from the beginning, as Coogler recently confirmed in another interview, was the MCU debut of Namor. He was always in the plan…

There were other characters, for sure, that we considered including, [but] Namor was always there,” Coogler continued.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens November 11th.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.