Ryan Coogler: Terminator 2 inspired Black Panther sequel
Ryan Coogler credits 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day' as a "big inspiration" for 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'.
The 36-year-old director is helming the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) blockbuster and explained how the dynamic between the villain Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and the protagonists is similar to that of T-1000 (Robert Patrick) and Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator in the 1991 movie.
Speaking to Collider, Ryan said of his approach to antagonists: "I think about them as, you know, this is a character that's going to come in conflict with my protagonist.
"And it'd be interesting if they want the same things, but because of who they are and what shaped them, they want to get those things in different ways and their means come in conflict with each other. And it comes to a head. That's kind of how movies I like are structured."
The filmmaker continued: "'Terminator 2' is a big inspiration for this movie. Big time. And you think about what T-1000 wants, and what Arnold Schwarzenegger's robot wants. They both want John Connor, but T-1000 wants to kill him, Arnold Schwarzenegger's character wants to protect him. That's the movie.
"And I look at it like that and also try to spend time with them. Not too much, you know what I'm saying? But enough that you understand where they're coming from and that you believe them when they make threats."
The movie has been heavily affected by the passing of Chadwick Boseman – who starred as T'Challa/Black Panther in the original film – and Ryan previously revealed that he considered walking away from the industry after the star's death in 2020 following a private battle with cancer.
He said: "I was at a point when I was like, 'I'm walking away from this business.'
"I didn't know if I could make another movie period, (let alone) another 'Black Panther' movie, because it hurt a lot. I was like, 'Man, how could I open myself up to feeling like this again?' "