‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Could Be “Summer Break” Movie, Director Reveals | Popgen Tech


Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) could have been a family holiday movie, if it followed the first draft of the script, the director revealed to the New York Times.

(L-R): Danai Gurira as Okoye and Letitia Wright as Shuri in Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER.  Photo by Eli Adé.  © 2022 MARVEL.
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Review: “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) is one of the most moving entries of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, an emotional treatise about grief, loss and transition, built on the death of star Chadwick Boseman. But co-writer/director Ryan Coogler has revealed what their original plot was planned for, before Boseman’s unexpected death — and it’s going to look like a very different movie, centered around a special couple vacation father

Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda in 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'.  Credit: Marvel Studios
Credit: Marvel Studios

Along with co-writer Joe Robert Cole, Coogler completed the first draft of the script and sent it to Boseman himself to read.

He revealed:

It was, “What are we going to do about Blip?” [In Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War,” T’Challa is one of billions of people who suddenly vanish, only to be brought back by the Avengers five years later.] That’s the challenge. It was completely unlike what we did. It will be a father-son story from a father’s point of view, as the first film was a father-son story from the sons’ point of view.

It’s a remarkably different take on a sequel, leaning more on how T’Challa (Boseman) will deal with his own loss during the devastating, MCU-wide ‘blip’ that saw the main characters including the Black Panther, Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) disappears for five years.

T'Challa Mural Black Panther: Wakanda Forever drums
Credit: Marvel Studios

The Wakanda Forever that viewers saw instead included Boseman’s death in the plot, with T’Challa passing away from an incurable illness and the futuristic African kingdom of Wakanda, and T’Challa’s surviving family, dealing with the consequences of his loss. In Boseman’s absence, Wakanda Forever is instead centered around Letitia Wright’s Shuri, who has to rely on her savant-like tech skills to save her brother’s life. Angela Bassett also received widespread acclaim for her role as Ramonda, T’Challa’s brave mother.

The final cut saw the introduction of Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne), who will have her own show on Disney+ Heart of steel (2023). Both Martin Freeman and Danai Gurira reprise their roles from the first Black Panther (2018), and Michaela Coel joins the cast as a new member of the elite Dora Milaje.

The love of T’Challa and former Wakanda War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) is revealed to be living and teaching in Haiti, and parenting their son Toussaint (Divine Love Konadu-Sun). Wakanda Forever kept Toussaint as a post-credits reveal, but the first draft may have included him as a major plot element.

Cooler continued:

In the script, T’Challa is a father who has had an enforced five-year absence from his son’s life. The first scene is an animated sequence. You heard Nakia [T’Challa’s love interest, played by Lupita Nyong’o] talking to Toussaint [the couple’s child, introduced in “Wakanda Forever” in a post-credits sequence]. He said, “Tell me what you know about your father.” You realize that he doesn’t know that his father is the Black Panther. He has never met her, and Nakia is remarried to a Haitian dude. Then, we go to reality and it’s the night everyone is coming back from the Blip. You see T’Challa meet the boy for the first time.

New Black Panther
Credit: Marvel Studios

Coogler caused controversy among fans on Twitter, who commented on his departure from his relationship with T’Challa.

Twitter user @TimidMC said:

I don’t like the idea of ​​Nakia remarrying so soon. T’Challa is king. His son is a prince and will be the ruler of Wakanda. I think there may be more to consider here. It would be interesting to know what happened without T’Challa. Who ran the country?

However, others disagreed, saying Nakia stepping up makes sense and even comparing her to other superheroes like DC’s Wonder Woman.

Twitter user @yoodadude said:

Luckily Nakia Unlike Wonder Woman was able to move on who was hooked on a man she met in WW1

Coogler revealed that the proposed preliminary draft covered a large span of time, jumping forward three years to cover a summer Toussaint spends with his heroic father. It was first code-named ‘Summer Break’, which shows how important that vacation plot is to the story.

Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) and T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) talk in Wakanda
Credit: Marvel Studios

Coogler said:

Then it goes on for three years and he is essentially co-parenting. We had some crazy scenes there for Chad, man. Our code name for the film is “Summer Break,” and the film is about a summer that a boy spends with his father. For his eighth birthday, they do a ritual where they go out into the bush and have to live on the land. But something happens and T’Challa has to save the world with his son on his hip. That’s the movie.

The change in the story also changed the villains present as well. Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Val, cast as the CIA director in the film but largely in a supporting role, will be more of a main antagonist in this original story. Instead, Namor mostly replaced him with Tenoch Huerta, leader of the Talokan people and fighting to defend his underwater home from the surface world.

Valentina Allegra (Julia Louis-Dreyfus)
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Why Chadwick Boseman Is Laughing at the Script of ‘Black Panther 2

Coogler said:

Val [the C.I.A. director, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus] is more active. It’s basically a three-way conflict between Wakanda, the US and Talokan. But everything is mostly from the child’s point of view.

It’s clear that this will be a hugely different movie than the Wakanda Forever we received in theaters, and not just because of Boseman’s presence.

What do you think of this initial draft? Tell us in the comments below.


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