Ryan Coogler is opening up about reaching a crossroads after the death of Chadwick Boseman.
In an interview published by Entertainment Weekly on Mondaythe “Black Panther” director said that losing the actor two years ago made him question whether he could continue making movies.
Boseman played T’Challa, also known as the iconic superhero Black Panther, in the hit 2018 film. Its opening became the fifth highest-earning of any movie, Disney said at the time.
The beloved actor, who also garnered attention for noteworthy roles in “42,” “Get on Up,” “Marshall” and “21 Bridges,” had battled colon cancer since 2016 and died in August 2020 at the age of 43.
“I was at a point when I was like, ‘I’m walking away from this business,’” Coogler told EW. “I didn’t know if I could make another movie period, [let alone] another Black Panther movie. … I was like, ‘Man, how could I open myself up to feeling like this again?’”
But after looking back on his conversations with Boseman, the filmmaker said he eventually “decided that it made more sense to keep going.”
“There’s that idea of grievance and intense emotion feeling like it comes in waves,” he added. “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 first garnered major attention after directing 2013′s “Fruitvale Station” and 2015′s “Creed.”
During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last yearthe California filmmaker opened up about working on tea long-awaited follow-up to “Black Panther” without Boseman.
“It’s difficult,” Coogler said at the time. ”You’ve got to keep going when you lose loved ones. I know Chad wouldn’t have wanted us to stop.
“He was somebody who was so about the collective. Black Panther, that was his movie. He was hired to play that role before anybody else was even thought of, before I was hired, before any of the actresses were hired. On that set, he was all about everybody else.”
The sequel, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” is set to hit theaters Nov. 11.