Ryan Coogler: Val Was in Black Panther 2 ‘From the Beginning’

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler recently opened up about Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ character Val and how she was written into the movie.

When asked about whether Namor was planned to be in the Black Panther sequel prior to Chadwick Boseman’s passing, Coogler said that the ruler of Talokan was part of it, but shared the antagonist role with Val.

“Val was much more active,” Coogler told The New York Times. “It was basically a three-way conflict between Wakanda, the U.S. and Talokan. But it was all mostly from the child’s perspective.”

Coogler was then asked about Val’s presence in the film and whether it’s difficult to implement storylines from the broader MCU into a solo movie. The director clarified that Val was always in Wakanda Forever and that he wasn’t forced or asked to include her.

“Yeah, nobody was shoehorned in or asked to be put into the movie or anything like that,” Coogler clarified. “Actually, in this version, [Louis-Dreyfus’ role] was pared back in order to make space for dealing with T’Challa’s death. And we had Val in there before she even appeared in any of the other movies, before Black Widow and Falcon and the Winter Soldier. People assume that we were told to put her in, but she was there from the beginning.

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