Chadwick Boseman’s death took the industry by surprise last summer, but few were as shocked by the news as Black Panther director Ryan Coogler. Before Coogler was blindsided by the sudden loss of his friend, he had already made quite a bit of headway on the script for Black Panther 2. Boseman’s passing forced Coogler to re-think his game plan for the sequel. With filming expected to begin this summer, Boseman’s shadow looms large over the impending production. Now, Coogler is opening up about how he’s been coping with Boseman’s absence.
Coogler addressed the Black Panther 2‘s status on an episode of Jemele Hill is Unbothered earlier this week. When Boseman came up, Coogler admitted that he still hasn’t fully processed his loss.
“I’m still currently going through it,” said Coogler (via Yahoo). “One thing that I’ve learned in my short or long time on this Earth is that it’s very difficult to have perspective on something while you’re going through it. This is one of the more profound things that I’ve gone through in my life, having to be a part of keeping this project going without this particular person who is like the glue who held it together.”
“That said, you have a professional life, you’ve got a personal life,” added Coogler. “Personal life, I’m going to say that when you work in something that you love, those things blend, they come together. I’m trying to find a work-life balance. But I’m not there yet, so this is without a question the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my professional life.”
Although shooting Black Panther 2 will be a bittersweet experience, Coogler isn’t turning his back on the MCU just yet. His Proximity Media banner recently inked a new overall deal with Disney to develop new projects over the next several years. One of those projects is a potential Disney+ series set in Wakanda. And whatever Coogler’s plans are, it’s clear that he aims to make Boseman proud.
“I’m incredibly sad to lose him,” said Coogler. “But I’m also incredibly motivated that I got to spend time with him. You spend your life hearing about people like him. For this individual, who is an ancestor now, I was there for it. It’s such an incredible privilege that fills you up as much as it knocks you out. So often as Black people, we have to pick up the pieces after loss.”
Black Panther 2 will hit theaters on July 8, 2022.
Are you looking forward to seeing what Coogler and his collaborators come up with? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Black Panther by Christopher Priest Vol. 1
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