Ryan Coogler had a lot of challenges when it came to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever with everything that has happened in the last few years. Many were worried about the inclusion of Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in the story, but it turns out that Julia Louis-Dreyfus was always part of the story he envisioned for the film as revealed by co-writer Joe Robert Cole.
Ryan will have a different perspective as the director, but I’ve never had a conversation where I was asked to incorporate something that didn’t feel organic. The dynamic of the U.S. being an instigator and Western powers being an instigator, that always existed. It wasn’t, ‘Oh, we need to find a reason to make this character exist.’ It was, ‘Oh, this is already in here and there’s this wonderful actress available.’ It always starts from the story and the ideasJoe Robert Cole
Ryan Coogler did confirm though that her character’s role had to be dialed back to make room to deal with T’Challa’s death; the film’s way of paying tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman.
Yeah, nobody was shoehorned in or asked to be put into the movie or anything like that. Actually, in this version, [Louis-Dreyfus’s role] was pared back in order to make space for dealing with T’Challa’s death. And we had Val in there before she even appeared in any of the other movies, before Black Widow and [the series] Falcon and the Winter Soldier. People assume that we were told to put her in, but she was there from the beginning.Ryan Coogler
He goes on to highlight that the conflict originally had more involvement from Val, who had a more active part in the film. Sadly, he doesn’t go into any details regarding how that would’ve evolved the story.
Yeah. But it was a combination. Val [the C.I.A. director, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus] was much more active. It was basically a three-way conflict between Wakanda, the U.S. and Talokan. But it was all mostly from the child’s perspective.Ryan Coogler
The film’s ending does imply that the story element that was originally part of this film might be explored in the future in some way. Plus, while it may have made some question why Val was included to begin with, it still gave us a future conflict that fits perfectly into Namor’s own plans moving forward.
Source: New York Times