(LOS ANGELES) — They say the show must go on, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do, especially for Black Panther 2 director Ryan Coogler. 

While appearing on the Jemele Hill is Unbothered podcast, the 34-year-old opened up about what its been like working on pre-production of the sequel without its leading man, Chadwick Boseman.

“One thing that I’ve learned in my short or long time on this Earth is that it’s very difficult to have perspective on something while you’re going through it,” he said on the episode, which dropped earlier this week. “This is one of the more profound things that I’ve gone through in my life, having to be a part of keeping this project going without this particular person who is like the glue who held it together.”

“I’m trying to find a work-life balance. But I’m not there yet, so this is without a question the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my professional life,” he shared. 

While moving on without the film’s star has been a challenge, Coogler adds that the silver-lining is that he even got to spend time with Boseman. 

“You spend your life hearing about people like him,” he explained. “For this individual, who is an ancestor now, I was there for it. It’s such an incredible privilege that fills you up as much as it knocks you out. So often as Black people, we have to pick up the pieces after loss.”

Black Panther 2 is expected to start shooting in July. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige told Deadline recently, “We’re not going to have a CG Chadwick and we’re not recasting T’Challa.”

“Wakanda is a place to further explore with characters and different subcultures. This was always…the primary focus of the next story.”

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC Audio.

By Danielle Long and Stephen Iervolino
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