Director Ryan Coogler recently opened up about losing the desire to make films after his close friend Chadwick Boseman passed away in 2020 from an aggressive form of colon cancer.
In a candid interview with Entertainment Weekly, Coogler spoke about how the beloved actor's death affected him.
"I was at a point when I was like, 'I'm walking away from this business. I didn't know if I could make another movie, period, [let alone] another Black Panther movie, because it hurt a lot. I was like, 'Man, how could I open myself up to feeling like this again?'"
Coogler recounted his relationship with Boseman and the importance of T'Challa's character in the blockbuster movie.
"I was pouring over a lot of our conversations that we had towards what I realized was the end of his life. I decided that it made more sense to keep going."
The sequel to Black Panther, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is dedicated to honoring Boseman's legacy. Coogler also revealed that there could only be one T'Challa.
"It's my job as a filmmaker to do things that I have personal integrity with," he expressed. "If I don't believe in what I'm doing, I'm going to have a hard time getting other people to do their best work. For them to do their best work, they have to believe in it. At the end of the day, the choices we make have to feel truthful to me. When filmmakers make things that don't feel truthful to them, you can feel it. And I will argue that those projects don't have a shot at working."
In August 2020, Coogler penned a poignant letter to his fallen comrade for BET.com.
He wrote, "I haven't grieved a loss this acute before. I spent the last year preparing, imagining and writing words for him to say that we weren't destined to see. It leaves me broken knowing that I won't be able to watch another close-up of him in the monitor again or walk up to him and ask for another take."
"It hurts more to know that we can't have another conversation, or facetime, or text message exchange," Coogler added. "He would send vegetarian recipes and eating regimens for my family and me to follow during the pandemic. He would check in on me and my loved ones, even as he dealt with the scourge of cancer."
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens in theaters on November 11.