Ryan Coogler has given the world a glimpse into his last conversation with late actor Chadwick Boseman, who passed away in 2020 due to complications related to stage IV colon cancer. The Oscar nominee was 43 years old at the time of his passing. During a recent appearance on Marvel’s official Black Panther podcast Wakanda Forever, the award-winning director revealed that the script for the sequel was completed before the acclaimed thespian’s death, but that Boseman declined Coogler’s offer to give it a glimpse.
“He said he didn’t wanna read it because he didn’t wanna get in the way of what direction the studio might have,” the 36-year-old said. “So he was like it’s better for him to read it later. I found out later that he was too tired to read anything.”
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Coogler also shares that while he was aware of Boseman’s diagnosis upon meeting him, he was ill-prepared to deal with the impact his transition would have.
“He was sick when I met him,” Coogler said. “But looking back on it, it’s like, my mans was dying. It’s a shocking thing to realize, and it’s also a thing where it’s like ‘I can’t quit.’ If he did all that while he was going through that, this is just grief. So we gotta push through.”
One spoiler the Cali native willingly allowed to slip about the upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever film is that fans should not expect the return or portrayal of T’Challa by another actor, as Boseman’s performance and ownership of the role were unique to himself.
“He was T’Challa before Civil War in a way, in his mind,” Coogler said. “And I’m sure there’s a lot of actors like that out there like that. But they wasn’t Chad.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will hit theaters next Friday (Nov. 11). Hear the first chapter and full episode of Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast above.