“His passing is still extremely raw for me.”
Lupita Nyong’o has opened up about the emotional challenges of making Black Panther 2 without Chadwick Boseman. In an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, the Academy Award-winner commented on how Boseman’s unexpected passing has impacted her attitude about returning to Wakanda.
The interview ranges from Nyong’o’s childhood to her work executive producing and voice acting on Super Semi, YouTube’s animated kids series. When the subject of Black Panther 2 came up, Nyong’o emphasized the long shadow Boseman’s passing has cast.
“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. And I can’t even begin to imagine what it will be like to step on set and not have him there.”
Nyong’o’s comments echo sentiments from both Martin Freeman, who is returning to the cast, and writer/director Ryan Coogler. Coogler, who had grown close to Boseman during the production for Black Panther, felt the loss on a personal and professional level. According to Nyong’o, this makes him a sympathetic leader to navigate the difficult waters of continuing without Boseman.
“…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.”
Production is set to begin in Atlanta later this year. Marvel confirmed in December that they would not recast Boseman’s role, and will instead explore the world and characters of Wakanda introduced in the first film. Nyong’o would be essential to that end, having played such an important role in the first film. We similarly hope other key performers, like Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, and Daniel Kaluuya will return.
Black Panther 2 is set to open July 8, 2022.
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