European premiere of Black Panther in London

Source: Anadolu Agency / Getty

Recently on the podcast, Jemele Hill is Unbothered, filmmaker Ryan Coogler and Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. sat down with Hill to discuss how the movie Judas and the Black Messiah came together, both from an artistic perspective for the men as well as from an intensely personal point-of-view for Hampton. During the chat, the topic shifted towards Coogler’s work on the Black Panther franchise and how he plans to move forward in light of the passing of its main star, Chadwick Boseman.

“I’m still currently going through it,” Coogler said. “One thing that I’ve learned in my short or long time on this Earth is that it’s very difficult to have perspective on something while you’re going through it.” Echoing remarks of another Black Panther star who visited Unbothered last month, Daniel Kaluuya, Coogler reflected on Boseman, “This is one of the more profound things that I’ve gone through in my life, having to be a part of keeping this project going without this particular person who is like the glue who held it together.”

Ever since he lost his four-year battle with colon cancer this past August, fans, and colleagues have been pouring in with praise for Boseman and spoken at great length about the impact of his death, not just for the Marvel Cinematic Universe but more deeply for Black culture and self-pride throughout the world.

“You spend your life hearing about people like him,” Coogler said of Black Panther‘s now-departed centerpiece. “For this individual, who is an ancestor now, I was there for it. It’s such an incredible privilege that fills you up as much as it knocks you out. So often as Black people, we have to pick up the pieces after loss.”

Despite Boseman’s passing, however, Black Panther 2 will still proceed with its original release date of July 8, 2022, and there is no plan to recast for the role of T’Challa. Instead, some theories are circulating as to how the King of Wakanda’s absence will be explained and who will be next to assume the mantle of Black Panther.

Check out the rest of the interview between Hill, Hampton, and Coogler to hear what else gets disclosed in the episode “Real Rap, Real Revolution” on Spotify.