In a new interview with Between the World and Me author Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ryan Coogler opened up about his final conversation with Chadwick Boseman. “Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast” debuted Thursday. Boseman, who portrayed King T’Challa, passed away in 2020 of colon cancer at just 43 years of age.
The “Black Panther” director, whose sequel to the original premieres next week, got emotional about their final exchange. “My last conversation with him was calling to ask if he wanted to read (the script) before I got notes from the studio,” Coogler explained.
“That was the last time we spoke. He passed maybe a couple weeks after I finished. He was tired, bro. I could tell he was tired.” He went onto say that he tried to get in touch with Boseman, but his attempts were unsuccessful.
“I’d been trying to get a hold of him for a few days, and Denzel [Washington] had been trying to get a hold of him, too.” Washington was a producer on Boseman’s final film, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” The late actor eventually called Coogler back.
“I could tell he was laying down when we were talking. And [Boseman’s wife] Simone was with him, and he kicked Simone out because he told her he didn’t want her to hear nothing that could get him in trouble with his (nondisclosure agreement),” Coogler stated.
“She didn’t want to leave him, so I could tell something was up.” He claimed that Boseman didn’t want to read the new script because he “didn’t want to get in the way” of studio notes.
“I found out later that he was too tired to read anything,” Coogler remarked. Shortly after Boseman died, Coogler wrote an emotional letter to him and distributed to various outlets.
A line from it said: “It leaves me broken knowing that I won’t be able to watch another close-up of [Boseman] in the monitor again or walk up to him and ask for another take.” Ultimately, Marvel decided not to recast the character.