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 film.

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

“Val was much more active,” Coogler said New York Times. “It was basically a three-way conflict between Wakanda, the United States, 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 is difficult to implement storylines from the wider MCU into a solo film. The director clarified that Val was always there Wakanda forever and that he was not forced or asked to include her.

“Yeah, nobody was shoehorned in or asked to be put in the movie or anything like that,” Coogler explained. “Actually, in this version, [Louis-Dreyfus’ role] was cut back to make room to deal 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 The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. People assume we were told to put her in, but she was there from the beginning.

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