The following article contains spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Foreverin theaters now.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever co-screenwriter Joe Robert Cole, revealed that the character of M’Baku, played by Winston Duke, was briefly considered to take over as the next Black Panther.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Cole shared that the team discussed a variety of ideas and scenarios while deciding who the next Black Panther would be. “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,” Cole said. “M’Baku certainly was someone that got kicked around a little bit.”
Cole also shared that Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia was at one point in the run to take up the Black Panther mantle. However, since Shuri’s (Letitia Wright) comic book counterpart does eventually become Black Panther, Cole said there was a “natural organicness” to her taking over in the film. “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,” he said.
While ideas for the sequel were discussed in 2018, plans for Wakanda Forever changed after the passing of Chadwick Boseman. It was confirmed by Marvel Studios President and Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige at 2020’s Disney Investor Day that the role of T’Challa would not be recast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This was a divisive choice among fans of the MCU, but Feige has stated his belief that it would be “too soon” to reprise the role.
Cole further explained to Rolling Stone how the sequel handled the passing of Boseman and his character, T’Challa, in the MCU. “The conversations were, everyone’s gonna come into this movie knowing that he’s passed away,” he said. “When is the right time to address that? And it felt like it should be addressed right up front. Otherwise, everyone’s waiting for it.”
The MCU’s New Black Panther
While many characters were considered for the role of Black Panther, Shuri, the younger sister of King T’Challa, inevitably took up the mantle in Wakanda Forever. Wright has portrayed Shuri in the MCU since 2018’s Black Panther. In a recent interview, she revealed that early in her Marvel career, she, Boseman and director Ryan Coogler had “briefly” discussed her playing the titular hero. “When I realized I was playing Shuri, it was something that I really looked forward to,” she said.
Wakanda Forever was released on Nov. 11 and continues to top the box office in its second weekend in theaters. At the time of writing, the sequel has grossed over $546 million worldwide. Along with Wright, Duke and Nyong’o, the sequel stars Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Florence Kasumba, Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel and Tenoch Huerta.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever He is currently playing in theaters.
Source: Rolling Stone