Much has been said about the fact that there was, at one point, a very different version of Marvel Studios’ second Black Panther movie in development — one that had to be significantly reworked following the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman, who played the title character in the original feature.
With the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever less than two weeks away, writer and director Ryan Coogler has opened up about what the never-to-be-made original version of the movie would have been like… and how closely it mirrors the version that’s going to arrive in theaters, surprisingly.
“The tone was going to be similar,” Coogler told Inverse about the initial storyline that he’d been working on, which would have picked up on T’Challa (Boseman) returning to Wakanda — and the world in general — after having been temporarily killed by Thanos in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, and subsequently resurrected in the following year’s Avengers: Endgame.
“The character was going to be grieving the loss of time, you know, coming back after being gone for five years,” Coogler said, suggesting that the movie would have been the first Marvel Studios production to dig into the reality of life post-Blip, as the five year period between the movies has become known. “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.”
That’s not the only thing that was similar in the original draft, with Coogler also revealing that Namor “was always the antagonist” in the movie, no matter the overall storyline. “There were other characters, for sure, that we considered including [but] Namor was always there,” he explained.
The final version of the movie features Namor and the undersea kingdom of Talokan invading Wakanda in the wake of T’Challa’s death, as the nation — and his loved ones — struggle to move on.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now available for streaming on Disney+
If you’re not already excited for the next Black Panther movie, perhaps you should reconsider what Lupita Nyong’o has to say about the movie.