Listen Now — Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast
Listen to the first episode with writer and director Ryan Coogler.
Ahead of the highly anticipated release of Marvel Studios' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the official podcast of the film — WAKANDA FOREVER: THE OFFICIAL BLACK PANTHER PODCAST — is now available across all major podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
The podcast explores the next chapter in the story of Wakanda and honors the remarkable legacy of Chadwick Boseman. National Book Award-winning author, journalist, and writer for Marvel Comics’ BLACK PANTHER Ta-Nehisi Coates serves as host and writer of the six-episode series, the first of which is now available; the remaining five will launch weekly in January 2023.
In the first episode, Coates sits down with returning writer and director Ryan Coogler to discuss his road to making the sequel to 2018's blockbuster Black Panther, including the tragic loss of star Chadwick Boseman in August 2020.
Coogler praises Boseman's approach to the role because, as the director explains, he was Black Panther before there even was a Black Panther movie, considering the actor originated the role in Marvel Studios' Captain America: Civil War.
"[Chadwick] was basically there to bring life to the character, but what Chad was also doing was he was protecting us before we were even a thing," Coogler explains. "He was on set, advocating for what Wakanda should be. He was having very, very difficult conversations, conversations that are not easy to have. What is T'Challa going to sound like...he was in there having very difficult conversations with the most prolific, most powerful studio in the world. He was having hard conversations about what Wakanda was going to be, and those conversations relied on his talent."
Coogler also touches on Boseman's sudden passing, and how he had talked to the star a few weeks beforehand to discuss what was going to happen in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Coogler offered the early script to Boseman, who declined to read it citing that he didn't want to get in the way of any other studio notes; Coogler would later learn that Boseman was simply too tired to read it at the time.
Getting emotional while talking to Coates, Coogler recalls moments during filming of the first movie where he noticed things were amiss with Boseman, but didn't pry into his private life.
"Everything about Chad was unique," he continues. "How he lived and how he died was also unique. I realized that he was like an expert at withholding information. Like, I found out in the release [following his passing] that he had been sick since I'd known him."
Coogler deeply misses Boseman, both as an actor and creative partner, and praises his perseverance, nothing that nothing got in the way of him bringing 100% to the role of T'Challa. The writer/director adds, "It's a shocking thing to realize, and it's also a thing where it's like, oh, yeah, I can't quit, if he did all of that while he was going through that. We got to push through."
You can listen to the full interview with Coogler now.
Subsequent episodes will be available weekly in January 2023, celebrating the five-year anniversary of the first “Black Panther” film. Guests will include cast and crew, including stars Angela Bassett and Dominique Thorne; score and soundtrack composer and producer Ludwig Göransson; production designer Hannah Beachler; director of photography Autumn Durald Arkapaw; co-writer Joe Robert Cole; producers Kevin Feige and Nate Moore; and more. Each episode, in tandem with guests’ conversation, will weave host narration, Göransson’s original score, film clips and field recordings. Story editing for the podcast is by James Kim. Audio editing is by Cameron Kell and Cedric Wilson. Sound design and additional music is by Pat Mesiti-Miller. Audio engineering is by Lauryn Newson. Production assistance is from Polina Cherezova.
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