Ryan Coogler thanks fans for supporting Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

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Director Ryan Coogler has thanked cinemagoers for supporting Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Following the death of his Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman in 2020, Coogler had to scrap his original idea for the sequel and create a new story which honoured Wakanda's late leader T'Challa as well as Boseman by extension.

On Wednesday, the eve of America's Thanksgiving, Coogler expressed his gratitude for those who turned out to see the new movie, which was released earlier this month.

"Gratitude. That is the only word that comes to mind for your support of our work on the film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. I am filled with it," he wrote in his typed letter, which was shared on Marvel's social media accounts. "This medium wouldn't exist without an audience, and I thank you for giving me a professional purpose, and an emotional outlet. I look forward to bringing you more stories in the future."

Coogler went on to thank fans for getting behind the sequel despite its lengthy runtime, the use of subtitles, and emotional heaviness.

"Our film is over two and a half hours long, so thank you for holding those bathroom breaks," he continued. "Our film has six languages spoken in it. Thank you for bearing with the subtitles. And our film deals with the inescapable human emotion of grief. Thank you for opening yourself up to the emotional journey of this film. We made something to honour our friend, who was a giant in our industry, and we also made something to be enjoyed in a theatrical setting with friends, family, and strangers."

The Fruitvale Station director closed his note with "Chadwick Forever" and "Long Live T'Challa".

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which stars Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira, has currently taken more than $560 million (£463 million) at the global box office.