Black Panther: Wakanda Forever had a huge story for Chadwick Boseman to play out on screen in the original version of Ryan Coogler’s script.
According to Collider, Coogler spoke to the New York Times about what he had planned for the film before learning of Boseman’s death in 2020. He said that T’Challa and Nakia’s (Lupita Nyong’o) son Toussaint (Divine Love Konadu-Sun), was already a part of the script.
“It was going to be a father-son story from the perspecitve of a father, because the first movie had been a father-son story from the perspective of the sons,” Coogler said. “In the script, T’Challa was a dad who’d had this forced five-year absence from his son’s life [because of the Blip].”
He also said that the beginning of the film was intended to be an animated sequence featuring Nakia talking to Toussaint about T’Challa.
“You hear Nakia talking to Toussaint. She says, ‘Tell me what you know about your father.’ You realize that he doesn’t know his dad was the Black Panther,” Coogler said. “He’s never met him, and Nakia is remarried to a Haitian dude. Then, we cut to reality and it’s the night that everybody comes back from the Blip. You see T’Challa meet the kid for the first time.”
He also said that the film would fast-forward three years to T’Challa and Nakia co-parenting, with Toussaint spending the summer with T’Challa (leading to the code name for the film being “Summer Break”).
“For [Toussaint’s] eighth birthday, they do a ritual where they go out into the bush and have to live off the land. But something happens and T’Challa has to go save the world with his son on his hip. That was the movie,” he said.
The film we have is, of course, not the same, but Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has allowed for even more heightened emotion as well as an exploration of Mesoamerican culture via Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and his kingdom of Talokan. The film has also been a huge success, earning $733 million at the box office since its Nov. 11 release.