Ryan Coogler says making ‘Black Panther 2’ without Chadwick Boseman is “hardest thing ever”

"This is one of the more profound things that I've ever gone through in my life"

Black Panther director Ryan Coogler has reflected on the process of creating the film’s sequel without the late Chadwick Boseman.

Black Panther 2 is due to arrive next year, and is set to begin shooting this July after original plans to begin production in March were delayed after the sudden death of star Boseman in August.

“One thing that I’ve learned in my short or long time on this Earth, however you want to look at it, is that it’s very difficult to have perspective on something while you’re going through it,” Coiogler reflected on the Jemele Hill is Unbothered podcast.

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“This is one of the more profound things that I’ve ever gone through in my life, having to be a part of keeping this project going without this particular person, who was like the glue that held it together.”

He added: “That said, you got a professional life, you got a private life – personal life, I mean to say. When you work in something that you love, those things blend, they come together, right? Your life kind of becomes your work for the better part of it.

“I’m trying to find a work-life balance, so I’m working on building two things that can kind of stand on their own… But I’m not there yet. So, this is without question the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my professional life. Without question.”

Reflecting on Boseman’s death, the director added: “I’m incredibly sad to lose [Boseman], but I’m also incredibly motivated that I got to spend time with him. He’s one of those people who, you spend your life hearing about people like this…

“For this individual, who’s an ancestor now, I was there for it… It’s such an incredible privilege that fills you up as much as it knocks you down.”

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Marvel recently revealed that there are no plans to use digital technology to have Boseman, who played King T’Challa in the 2018 film, in the sequel.

Similarly, studio boss Kevin Feige explained why he will not be replaced with another actor in Black Panther 2.

“I wanted to acknowledge the devastating loss of a dear friend and member of the Marvel Studios family,” he said.

“Chadwick Boseman was an immensely talented actor and an inspirational individual who affected all of our lives professionally and personally. His portrayal of T’Challa the Black Panther is iconic and transcends iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past. And it’s for that reason that we will not recast the character.”

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