Making Black Panther 2 Without Chadwick Boseman Is "Hardest Thing" Ryan Coogler Has Done Professionally

Boseman starred in the Marvel blockbuster Black Panther, but sadly died in August last year.

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Director Ryan Coogler has spoken about making the Marvel sequel Black Panther 2 without Chadwick Boseman. The actor, who starred as T'Challa in 2018's hugely successful Black Panther, tragically died from cancer last August.

Coogler was interviewed for the Jemele Hill is Unbothered podcast. He was asked about the challenges of writing and directing Black Panther 2, which is scheduled for a 2022 release, without his leading man. Coogler admitted that he was finding it hard to separate his personal loss from the fact he has a job to do.

"You have a professional life, you've got a personal life," he said. "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."

Coogler went to state that although he was still extremely sad about losing Boseman, he felt lucky to have worked with him. "You spend your life hearing about people like him," he said. "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."

In December, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige confirmed that the role of T'Challa wouldn't be recast for Black Panther 2. "His portrayal of T'Challa, the Black Panther, is iconic and transcends any iteration of the character in any other medium," he said. "And it's for that reason that we will not recast the character. However, to honor the legacy that Chad helped us build through his portrayal of the kingdom of Wakanda, we want to continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film." Boseman's final appearance in a Marvel movie was in 2019's Avengers Endgame.

Black Panther 2 is scheduled to hit theaters on July 8, 2022. It was previously reported that production will start in July this year. Returning cast members include Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong'o, and Angela Bassett, while Narcos: Mexico star Tenoch Huerta has joined the cast in a villainous role.

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