Chadwick Boseman's death forced Marvel to change the entire plan for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, including part of the MCU film's post-credits scene.
Before Black Panther 2 came to theaters, critics shared that the MCU's final movie of Phase 4 would only include one post-credits scene, breaking a long trend from Marvel over the past few years. This meant MCU fans would see a movie with only one post-credits scene for the first time since Phase 4 started with Black Widow, and it only marks the fifth time since 2015 that an MCU movie has has one or fewer post-credits moments.
Warning - the rest of this article contains major spoilers about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
This movie's post-credits scene furthered the Black Panther legacy in a meaningful fashion by revealing that Nakia and the late T'Challa had a son after the first movie. On top of that, the young man even got the same Wakandan name as his father, giving the MCU a new T'Challa to follow as the story pushes forward to new avenues.
And while this moment helped serve as a full circle moment following Chadwick Boseman's death, that event forced Marvel to change some things thematically with the post-credits moment everybody saw on screen.
Black Panther 2's Post-Credits Scene Changes
Speaking with Collider, Marvel Studios Vice President Nate Moore explained the changes that were made to the mid-credits scene in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever after Chadwick Boseman's death.
According to Moore, the plan was always to introduce T'Challa and Nakia's son, and it stayed the same following Boseman's tragic passing. But afterward, the producer explained that "it was repurposed thematically" in order to bring more of a theme of "renewal after a time of adversity:"
Collider: "The mid-credit scene is phenomenal."
Nate Moore: "Yep."
Collider: "How early on did you know that was going to be the scene?"
Moore: "Pretty early on. That was always the end of the movie pretty, much since Chad's passing. I think the first draft we got had that in there, and the notion of the character introduced in that scene actually predated Chad's passing, to be quite honest. We always like the idea that…"
Collider: "Oh yeah, I know what you mean."
Moore: "Yeah. But it was repurposed thematically once Chad passed, and hopefully feels like renewal after a time of adversity."
Moore then looked at how difficult this movie was to make and how everything was "complicated by Chad's passing" and the emotions that came with dealing with that loss:
Collider: "You guys literally did the impossible. You made something that's very respectful of Chadwick, but also keeping the franchise going, introducing all these new characters."
Collider: "I don't think people realize the level of difficulty in making this film."
Moore: "Yeah, I agree. No, it was tough. It was already going to be tough just trying to make a sequel to the first film because of how it was received, and how it hit people. Then obviously, it got complicated by Chad's passing and our human reactions to that event."
The producer then praised director Ryan Coogler for figuring out "a way to maybe do the impossible," mixing the emotions of everything happening in the real world while "delivering on the promise" of new heroes and villains like Namor and Ironheart:
"I think Ryan figured out a way to maybe do the impossible, which is to marry the emotion of what was happening, and art, and entertainment imitating life to a degree, but also delivering on the promise of characters like Namor, and the Talocan, and Riri Williams. There are a lot of ideas in the movie that don't feel like they're in conflict with each other, and it hopefully makes for an epic experience for people."
Thematically Adjusting Following Tragic Death
Looking at Moore's quotes, Marvel always had the plan to introduce the MCU fandom to a young hero with T'Challa and Nakia's child, the latest in a long line of young heroes that were introduced in Phase 4. Not only did it keep consistent with the trend of introducing potential members of the Young Avengers, but it helped to honor the late Chadwick Boseman after his death while also reintroducing a new T'Challa to the story.
Moore didn't go too much into specifics with the themes that were adjusted, but Marvel made sure that fans got that sense of renewal with a young heir to the throne being raised outside of Wakanda. And while it may be some time until the child makes an impact on the story as his own character, he'll be a thread to look forward to in Black Panther stories that come after the Multiverse Saga.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now playing in theaters worldwide.