It’s pretty obvious that director Ryan Coogler and his team stayed away from the conventional approach as most of Marvel’s standard storytelling. And we all were aware that Chadwick Boseman’s death forced the studio to reconstruct the story and focus on the impact of his death and follow his legacy.
But the Black Panther sequel’s screenplay was pretty much done before Chadwick Boseman tragically passed away following a lengthy battle with cancer. Unaware of how ill the actor was, Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole had penned a story revolving around T’Challa and continuation of his legacy with his son, Toussaint.
Coogler told The New York Times, in his recent interview, he broke down the original idea of a sequel. Chadwick Boseman-led Black Panther 2 already included Toussaint (Divine Love Konadu-Sun) – T’Challa and Nakia’s (Lupita Nyong’o) son – in the story. Although the kid’s reveal originally came in the very beginning of the movie. In “Black Panther : Wakanda Forever,” Toussaint is only shown in the ending credit scene of the sequel. So the initial idea was to show how T’Challa (Boseman) had missed the five first years of his son’s life because he was blipped into dust by Thanos (Josh Brolin).
“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. In the script, T’Challa was a dad who’d had this forced five-year absence from his son’s life [because of the Blip]. 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.”
The movie would then jump three years after the conclusion of ‘The Avengers: Infinity War‘ to find T’Challa bonding with his son, with the director admitting he had some “crazy scenes” planned for his late lead. He added: “Then it cuts ahead three years, and he’s essentially co-parenting. 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.”
The original film would have given Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ CIA director character Val a bigger role. Ryan added: “It was basically a three-way conflict between Wakanda, the US, and Talokan. But it was all mostly from the child’s perspective.”
The cast and crew of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” spent months being fairly direct about their feelings on continuing the film without original leading man Chadwick Boseman, and more vaguely about what the sequel would’ve been like had he not unexpectedly passed in 2020, it’s pretty safe to say that their profound feeling resonated with audiences around the world.