Mike Marsland/WireImage Chadwick Boseman and Ryan Coogler in February 2018
"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?' "
In the days after Boseman's death, Coogler was "poring 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."
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney Ryan Coogler
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He added, "There's that idea of grief and intense emotion feeling like it comes in waves. Sometimes a wave can take you away where you lose control of it. You think you're in control, but the water can always remind you that you're not."
Coogler previously directed Fruitvale Station (2013), Creed (2015) and the first Black Panther (2018). He returns to direct the sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Producer Nate Moore said the new movie is "very much about how you move forward while dealing with a tragic loss. All of the characters, both old and new, are dealing with how loss can affect your actions in ways that are emotional and surprising."
Costar Lupita Nyong'o told EW that moving forward without Boseman seemed impossible at first.
"I dreaded the start of this shoot because I could not imagine how we would proceed without Chadwick. It was unfathomable to me," she said. "But Ryan managed to honor his life and his role in both the film and our lives with his moving, truthful and clear vision."
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters Nov. 11.