Director Ryan Coogler has released a statement thanking audiences for going out to see Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in theaters. Released courtesy of Marvel Entertainment, the filmmaker heaps praise on all those who have ventured out to watch the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and demonstrates once again how personal the experience of making the Black Panther sequel has been as it explores “the inescapable human emotion of grief.”
Coogler begins simply with the word “gratitude” before offering his thanks for the support that has come from audiences since the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The filmmaker then thanks fans, from those “who bought their tickets early and camped out” to those who “took their families,” and finally to those who organized screenings, watched the Marvel movie multiple times, and encouraged others to go see it.
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Coogler then refers to the length of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which clocks in at a bladder-testing 2 hours 41 minutes, as well as the use of subtitles, thanking audiences for embracing both.
Finally, Coogler discusses the themes of grief and loss in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Those themes permeate throughout the story following the loss of Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman, who passed away in August 2020 after a private battle with cancer. “Thank you for opening yourself up to the emotional journey of this film,” he says. “We made something to honor our friend, who was a giant in our industry.” Coogler finishes by thanking audiences, without which “this medium wouldn’t exist,” before promising to us all “more stories in the future.”
The statement is another indication of how vital bringing Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was to Ryan Coogler, how difficult it must have been for him to do so following the death of Boseman, and how passionate he is for filmmaking.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Has Been a Huge Box Office Success
Following the untimely death of star Chadwick Boseman, director Ryan Coogler and his crew decided that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever would reflect the real-life tragedy. Thus, the Marvel sequel picks up with Queen Ramonda, Shuri, M’Baku, Okoye, and the Dora Milaje fighting to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together when a threat from beneath the sea led by Namor the Submariner brings war to their doorstep.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has been well-received by both critics and audiences alike, with the MCU outing so far grossing over $561 million worldwide and becoming the eighth-highest-grossing movie of 2022.
Directed by Ryan Coogler, who has co-written the screenplay with Joe Robert Cole, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever stars Letitia Wright as Shuri, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Winston Duke as M’Baku, Florence Kasumba as Ayo, Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams aka Ironheart, Michaela Coel as Aneka, Tenoch Huerta as Namor, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, and Angela Bassett as Ramonda. Additionally, the rest of the supporting cast will include Isaach de Bankolé, Dorothy Steel, Danny Sapani, Mabel Cadena, Alex Livinalli, Kamaru Usman, and Richard Schiff.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is in theaters now.