Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is one of the most talked about films of 2022. Following the phenomenal success of Black Panther (2018), expectations were been sky-high, especially with the passing of lead actor, Chadwick Boseman. Angela Bassett stars in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and learns her character’s fate while reading the script. Director Ryan Coogler addresses her concerns by explaining to her that “Death is not the end” in these films. I got a chance to speak with Angela as part of the African American Film Critics Association roundtable series. In this interview I asked Anglea about her motive for not wanting that fate for her character and what she was fighting for:
Q: This movie is heavy, at least to me. The King T’Challa dies off-screen at the beginning of the movie and your character doesn’t survive this movie either. And I heard you didn’t initially want your character to die in this film. Eventually Ryan spoke with you and convinced you that “Death is not the end” in Marvel films. Now I know why I didn’t want that fate for your character, I’m still mourning the passing of my own mother, but can you talk about the message of acceptance and how you processed your character’s passing in this film? Was this something that weighed on you?
A: I think… Let’s see… I had just fallen, like I think, like a lot of the audience who has a friend, a dear friend, who has expressed they haven’t seen the movie… Because I love the franchise, and the movie, I’m in love with the world and the opportunity. Of course, when I read this I was just literally shocked. I was heartbroken also! I just fell in love with this woman and her children and her people…
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a 2022 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Black Panther. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the sequel to Black Panther (2018) and the 30th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Directed by Ryan Coogler, who co-wrote the screenplay with Joe Robert Cole, the film stars Letitia Wright as Shuri / Black Panther, alongside Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Tenoch Huerta Mejía, Martin Freeman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Angela Bassett. In the film, the leaders of Wakanda fight to protect their nation in the wake of King T’Challa’s death.