Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Co-writer 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 StoneCole shared that the team discussed a variety of ideas and scenarios while deciding who the next Black Panther would be. “We’d brainstorm ideas and try to extrapolate where the story is going and what’s the most impactful choice — what’s the best journey? And where do you go after the movie in terms of those characters,” Cole said. “M’Baku was certainly someone who got kicked around a bit.”
Cole also shared that Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia was at a point in the race to take up the mantle of Black Panther. However, since Shuri’s comic book counterpart (Letitia Wright) eventually becomes Black Panther, Cole said there was an “organic naturalness” to her takeover in the film. “But you kick the tires with all kinds of ideas. And you just want to make the best decision and do what’s best for the story,” she said.
While ideas for the sequel were discussed in 2018, plans for wakandan forever changed after the death of Chadwick Boseman. Marvel Studios President and Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige confirmed at Disney Investor Day 2020 that the role of T’Challa would not be recast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This was a divisive choice among MCU fans, but Feige has stated that he thinks he would be “too soon” to switch 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 will go into this movie knowing that he passed away,” he said. “When is the right time to address that? And I felt like it should be addressed early on. Otherwise everyone is waiting for it.”
The new Black Panther of the MCU
While many characters were considered for the role of Black Panther, Shuri, King T’Challa’s younger sister, inevitably took over in wakandan forever. Wright has played Shuri in the MCU since 2018. Black Panther. In a recent interview, she revealed that early in her Marvel career, she, Boseman, and director Ryan Coogler had “briefly” discussed her portrayal of her main hero. “When I found out that she was playing Shuri, it was something I was really looking forward to,” she said.
wakandan forever opened on November 11 and continues to top the box office in its second weekend in theaters. As of this 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 is currently playing in theaters.
Font: Rolling Stone