Given the passing of Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was always going to be an emotional ride– but one big moment from the film was initially questioned by one of its stars.
The sequel film delivered the most moving and emotional scenes in the MCU, paying tribute to Boseman. The film also puts its characters through the wringer emotionally, specifically Angela Bassetts Queen Ramanda.
MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW:
In the first few minutes of the film, T'Challa dies from a mysterious illness as Princess Shuri scrambles to save her brother.
Few anticipated that the film would feature a second heartbreaking death. Midway through Wakanda Forever, Queen Ramonda, T’Challa’s mother, passes away. As a result of her death during Namor’s (Tenoch Huerta) assault on Wakanda, Shuri (Letitia Wright) vows revenge on him in the third act.
The biggest shock in the film is probably the death of Queen Ramonda, which star Angela Bassett herself first disagreed with when she first learned her character's destiny.
Director Ryan Coogler had to allay Bassett’s worries about killing off Ramonda, the actress told IndieWire.
“I objected,” Bassett said. “Yeah, I was like, ‘Ryan, what are you doing? Why? You will rue the day! You will rue the demise of [Ramonda]. People are gonna be so upset.’ He was like, ‘Angela, I know, I know, but look, to die is not really to die in this world. It doesn’t really have to mean that.’”
Coogler is correct in that there are many ways in these comic book movies for characters to come back or make another appearance.
Especially in the world of Black Panther, where The Ancestral Plane, where previous Black Panthers go when they die, is integral to the mythology of Wakanda itself, with Killmonger making an appearance when Shuri ingests the heart-shaped herb in an attempt to become the new Black Panther. Even Ramonda, the deceased queen played by Bassett, is resurrected and heard speaking to Shuri from the Ancestral Plane.
Taking on the sequel without Boseman at its core, according to Bassett, made her nervous about other things.
With T’Challa gone, the Shuri and Queen Ramonda connection takes center stage in the movie’s plot. Coogler assured Bassett that her contribution to the rewritten draft for the sequel would be “important and vital.”
“Almost to the point that I was going to get a complex, like, ‘Am I going to be able to deliver what you’re asking for?’” Bassett said. “She had to be strong. She had to be a mother. She had to be a leader. He was just throwing all of this at me. And then on top of that: ‘Can you swim? Can you put your head in water?’”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now playing in theaters everywhere.