Lupita Nyong’o grew close to Chadwick Boseman during the making of their 2018 Marvel Cinematic Universe hit “Black Panther.” His death on August 28 last year inspired her to write a powerful tribute shortly thereafter, as the two would’ve eventually collaborated on “Black Panther II.” As previously announced, Boseman’s role as T’Challa isn’t going to be recast in Ryan Coogler’s forthcoming sequel, expected to drop in 2022. But Oscar winner Nyong’o will be starring in the film, resuming her role as Nakia, T’Challa’s former lover and an undercover spy for Wakanda. In a recent interview with Yahoo! Movies, Nyong’o teased what the film is going to look like without Boseman.
“People will ask me, ‘Are you excited to go back?’ Excitement isn’t the word. I feel like I’m in a very pensive and meditative state when it comes to ‘Black Panther 2.’ His passing is still extremely raw for me,” Nyong’o said. “And I can’t even begin to imagine what it will be like to step on set and not have him there.”
She added, “But at the same time we have a leader in Ryan, who feels very much like we do, who feels the loss in a very, very real way as well. And his idea, the way which he has reshaped the second movie is so respectful of the loss we’ve all experienced as a cast and as a world. So it feels spiritually and emotionally correct to do this. And hopefully, what I do look forward to, is getting back together and honoring what he started with us and holding his light through it. Because he left us a lot of light that we’re still going to be bathing in. I know that for sure.”
Back in September of last year, Nyong’o wrote in her tribute: “When I was around Chadwick, I wanted to be better, less petty, more purposeful. He was fueled by love, not fear. He moved quietly, deliberately and without imposing himself or his ideals on others. And yet he also made damn sure that his life meant something. He cared so deeply about humanity, about Black people, about his people. He activated our pride. By pushing through and working with such high purpose in the films he chose to commit to, Chadwick has made the infinite his home.”
“Black Panther II” will soon begin production in Atlanta. Coogler wanted to keep production there in spite of the passage of voting law SB 202, as he explained in an essay recently shared with media outlets.