If you haven’t seen Black Panther: Wakanda Forever yet, only continue at your own risk. The following article contains spoilers on major plot points of the sequel.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ended Phase 4 by further exploring the concept of grief, but with some real-world thrown into the mix. Director Ryan Coogler and his crew used the film to work through their own challenges after the loss of Chadwick Boseman, which leads to a powerful film reflecting back on the legacy he leaves. In the middle of it all, Angela Bassett offered a powerful performance as Queen Ramonda. In an interview with IndieWire, she highlighted what it was like taking on the role and returning as the character and how Coogler supported the cast throughout production.
He’s extremely clear on the story and what he’s doing, but the way he carries himself around the cast and the crew. It’s so collaborative. He’s so self-effacing. That impostor syndrome that we’re feeling or whatever, he will just say it out loud. ‘I don’t know about these words. Are you OK with them?’ And he really invites you to have your say, be a part, which is wonderful. He doesn’t straightjacket you.Angela Bassett
Of course, the big move in this film was her death at the hands of Tenoch Huerta‘s Namor. A powerplay to showcase his power before Wakanda and especially Letitia Wright‘s Shuri. In a story already fighting through the loss of a character, it seemed harsh to add one more to the list, but Bassett shared how the Black Panther director convinced her of taking the story down this route.
I objected. Yeah, I was like, ‘Ryan, what are you doing? Why? You will rue the day! You will rue the demise of [Ramonda]. People are gonna be so upset. He was like, ‘Angela, I know, I know, but look, to die is not really to die in this world. It doesn’t really have to mean that.’Angela Bassett
It definitely was shocking and added to the emotional gut punch that was Wakanda Forever. Shuri’s character has gone through a lot in this film. So, it just added even more weight to the events that transpired. Still, it almost seems like we could expect Bassett to potentially return in the MCU’s future if that is how Coogler sold her on the story decision.