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It’s been almost a year since the untimely passing of Chadwick Bosema, and the weight of the loss is still felt the most by those closest to him. Black Panther director Ryan Coogler is not only still mourning his loss, but he must also figure out how to make a sequel without the King of Wakanda.

During a recent episode of the Jemele Hill is Unbothered podcast, the director opened up about what it’s been like forging ahead on the second Black Panther now that Boseman is gone.

“I’m still currently going through it,” Coogler said. “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. 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.”

While Coogler said he’s “incredibly sad” to have lost his friend, he’s able to cherish the time they spent together. “You spend your life hearing about people like him,” he said. “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.” 

MCU boss Kevin Feige has previously said that Chadwick Boseman would not be recast in Black Panther 2, which is slated to come out on July 8, 2022.