- Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
- The sequel sees Wakanda grieve the loss of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman).
- Writer Joe Robert Cole considered making Winston Duke and Lupita Nyong’o the new Black Panther.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” has the difficult job of addressing the tragic death of actor Chadwick Boseman, as King T’Challa dies of a mystery illness within the opening few minutes of the movie.
The ramifications of his death reverberate throughout the entire story, as Shuri (Letitia Wright) and her loved ones grieve their late king while also clashing with Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and the nation of Talokan.
Shuri eventually learns to let herself work through her grief and embraces her role as Wakanda’s new Black Panther.
But writer Joe Robert Cole recently told Rolling Stone that the topic of T’Challa’s successor was a huge point of discussion going into the film, noting that they wanted to find the character arc that would hit hardest.
The writer explained: “We would kick around the ideas, and try to extrapolate where the story goes and what’s the most impactful choice — what’s the best journey? And where do you go after the film in terms of those characters? M’Baku certainly was someone that got kicked around a little bit.”
Cole also confirmed that Lupita Nyong’o’s spy, Nakia, was in the running for Black Panther, saying: “That got kicked around! Her name got kicked around for sure.”
Nakia would’ve been an interesting choice for Black Panther, especially with her experience as a spy, but it’s clear the focus of her arc was about setting up the end reveal of T’Challa’s son, Toussaint (Divine Love Konadu-Sun).
Cole went on to say that Shuri taking up the suit after her brother made the most sense considering her story, and it obviously works in tandem with the source material.
The writer added: “In the comics, Shuri is Black Panther and there’s a natural organicness, I guess is the best way to say it, to her becoming Panther. But you kick the tires on all sorts of ideas. And you just want to make the best decision and do what’s best for the story.”