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Black Panther's Chadwick Boseman And Letitia Wright Had A Strong Connection From Their First Meeting

Making a film is a labor of love, and "Black Panther" had been in the works since the early 1990s when it was finally released in 2018. Countless hands touched what would become Marvel's most critically acclaimed outing to date, but no individual was so indispensable to the creation of T'Challa as Chadwick Boseman. Boseman did critical work developing T'Challa on the set of "Captain America: Civil War," taking time to workshop the character and create his accent based on the Xhosa language.

In an episode of "Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast," director Ryan Coogler spoke warmly of his colleague. "[Boseman] was basically there to bring life to the character, but what Chad was also doing was protecting us before 'us' was even a thing. He was on set advocating for what Wakanda should be," said Coogler. "He came to every audition that I needed him at. He gave feedback on what it was like to play across from these people. He read every script."

Boseman had particularly glowing things to say about his chemistry read with co-star Letitia Wright.

Boseman said Wright felt like his actual sister

In Chapter 2 of Marvel's "Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast," Ryan Coogler opened up about the experience of casting Letitia Wright as Shuri, T'Challa's sister. Wright's effect on Chadwick Boseman, said Coogler, was immediate. "Chad's smile is wide open, you know? When he's T'Challa, if you watch those films, his smile is more measured. You don't see a lot of teeth. Sometimes it's like a half smile. For whatever reason, when he would do his chemistry reads with Letitia, you would see the Chad smile."

"She could break through," Coogler continued. "I noticed it, the producers noticed it, and I talked to [Boseman] about it. And what he said was, 'She's really skilled. She's probably the most skilled actor that we've auditioned. Man, she reminds me of my own people, like she feels like she could actually be my sister.'"

The chemistry between Boseman and Wright is apparent in "Black Panther," whether it's gentle sibling ribbing or more emotional scenes. Their closeness makes Boseman's absence from "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" all the more heartbreaking. For Wright, it was akin to losing a brother. "Every day that I went on set, I focused my energy on each scene to dedicate it to him," the actress told Jimmy Fallon. "I wanted to dedicate excellence to this film so he could be proud."