Ryan Coogler Reveals Original Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Storyline

original black panther storyline

You may or may not know but Ryan Coogler penned Black Panther: Wakanda Forever prior to Chadwick Boseman’s passing. Coogler and his co-screenwriter Joe Robert Cole sent Boseman a first draft for the film in 2020. However much of the storyline which was going to center on T’Challa and his son Toussaint, changed due to Boseman’s untimely passing.

While speaking with the New York Times, Coogler revealed the original intent of the film which was to center on the relationship of fathers and sons in the aftermath of “The Blip.”

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“It was, “What are we going to do about the Blip?” Coogler said to the Times. “That was the challenge. 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.”

“The Blip” storyline stemmed from The Avengers: Infinity War when Thanos created mass extermination. Thanos snapped his fingers and falf the universe’s population disappeared into dust. Boseman’s T’Challa was apart of the turned-to-dust population that would return five years later.

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Coogler said:

“In the (original) script, T’Challa was a dad who’d had this forced five-year absence from his son’s life. 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.

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 sequel’s villain was always going to have Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner, and T’Challa’s focus would’ve been fatherhood as he battled Namor.

Coogler also added that C.I.A. director Val (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) was much more active in the original plan. “It was basically a three-way conflict between Wakanda, the US, and Talokan (the underwater kingdom ruled by Namor.) But it was all mostly from the child’s perspective.”

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The rewritten version of Wakanda Forever became a meditation on grief and vengeance centered on T’Challa’s sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright), who eventually becomes the new Black Panther.

Now that you know the original film, what are your thoughts?

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