Black Panther: Wakanda Forever made a big deal out of who would take over the mantle moving forward, as director Ryan Coogler and co-writer Joe Robert Cole decided to honor their friend Chadwick Boseman by having his character T’Challa face a similar fate. The film has become a way for many to cope with the events that happened and the film became a beautiful tribute to grief and having memories of loved ones live on in our minds.
Of course, there’s the challenge of finding who would carry on the mantle, and the film would eventually settle on Letitia Wright‘s Shuri. It makes sense given that she’s the next one in line for the throne, and is the only one that can recreate the herb that gives the mantle its powers. Still, it seems that according to Cole, they have played around with some others taking on the mantle, such s Winston Duke‘s M’Baku.
We would kick around the ideas, and try to extrapolate where the story goes and what’s the most impactful choice — what’s the best journey? And where do you go after the film in terms of those characters. M’Baku certainly was someone that got kicked around a little bit. I think you’re correct because in the comics, Shuri is Black Panther and there’s a natural organicness, I guess is the best way to say it, to her becoming Panther. But you kick the tires on all sorts of ideas. And you just want to make the best decision and do what’s best for the story.Joe Robert Cole
He does highlight that they also have considered passing the mantle to Lupita N‘yongo‘s character Nakia but settled on the more fitting decision to have the Black Panther remain in the family. They went through quite a few ideas early on, but the film also keeps the door open for someone else that can take it on in the future. And who knows what the future has in store, as we’re still in the Multiverse Saga that might feature some others wearing the mantle.
Source: Rolling Stone