Chadwick Boseman refused to read original script of ‘Wakanda Forever’ before tragic passing

Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther in Avengers: Infinity War
Photo via Marvel Studios

We’re just over a week away from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever gracing cinemas all over the world. Teed up as a poignant, triumphant conclusion to Phase Four and one of Marvel Studios’ most heartfelt projects ever, Ryan Coogler‘s emotional rollercoaster of a sequel will undoubtedly be one of the high points for the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s history.

In the wake of all of these nuances, of course, is the late Chadwick Boseman, the actor who portrayed the MCU’s original Black Panther before passing away in 2020 after a long battle with colon cancer. It was a shock to the world, given Boseman’s decision and ability to keep his struggle private, to say nothing of the wave of grief that seeped its way into the set of Wakanda Forever.

Coogler, who directed and wrote the script for Wakanda Forever and its predecessor, was one of many colleagues of Boseman’s who was in the dark about the late actor’s health struggles. During the first episode of Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast, Coogler, who served as the episode’s guest, recalled a conversation he had with Boseman in which the late actor declined the scribe’s offer to read the script, claiming to not want to toy with Coogler’s ideas too much, avoiding any mention of the tragic reality that was on the horizon.

He said he didn’t want to read it, didn’t want to get in the way of whatever notes the studio might have, so he said “It’s better if I read it later.” But I found out later that he was too tired to read anything.

If what we’ve seen from the film’s trailers is anything to go by, then Coogler and the rest of the creative team can hold their heads high, confident that Boseman is smiling down on them with infinite pride for the heart and legacy they’ve embodied over several long months of filming.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever releases in theaters on Nov. 11.