The plot of the Black Panther sequel would have been centred on the events of Avengers: Endgame had it not been for Chadwick Boseman’s death.
In an interview with Inverse, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director and screenwriter Ryan Coogler claims that while the plot has changed in the wake of actor Chadwick Boseman’s passing, the film’s original screenplay was always going to be about grief because it would have dealt with the effects of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, both of which centred on Thanos’ scheme to wipe out half of all life using the Infinity Stones.
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The original storyline for the film, which will be released in theatres next week, was about lamenting the five years that passed between the death of T’Challa in Infinity War and his resurrection in Endgame. Instead, the film is about mourning the loss of Boseman’s character, and it will be about T’Challa.
— Lupita Nyong’o (@Lupita_Nyongo) November 3, 2022
As Coogler tells Inverse, “the tone was going to be similar.” “The character was supposed to be lamenting the passage of time, you know, returning after being away for five years. The movie was about a man who had a lot of people depending on him, returning after being away forcibly for five years. Grieving over lost time, he was. A significant factor was grief.
— Rohit Khilnani (@rohitkhilnani) October 31, 2022
Namor the Sub-Mariner was always intended to be the adversary, even in the original script. Still, Coogler and co-writer Joe Robert Cole rewrote the script to focus on other characters after Boseman’s passing. In Wakanda Forever, Namor is portrayed by Tenoch Huerta.
Coogler said that because we lost him and because of the decisions we made about moving forward, “who the protagonist was, the protagonist’s weaknesses, what the protagonist was dealing with on their journey, all of that stuff had to be changed.”
— BD (@BrandonDavisBD) November 2, 2022
On November 11, Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, and Angela Bassett return to their respective roles from the first Black Panther movie. Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams/Ironheart and Huerta as Namor are newcomers.