In a recent interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o has finally opened up about Marvel Studios’ upcoming Black Panther sequel, revealing that going back to the set of the MCU film will be very emotionally difficult as she and the film’s cast are still mourning the loss of lead star and dear friend Chadwick Boseman, who died at the age of 43, nearly a year ago after a four-year-long private battle with colon cancer. Production on Black Panther 2 is expected to begin sometime this year in Atlanta, just in time for its current July 8, 2022 release.
“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.”
Despite this, she also shared her trust in the project and director Ryan Coogler, who has reshaped the sequel’s story in a way that will honor and respect the untimely passing of Boseman.
“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,” Nyong’o explained. “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.”
Based on the Marvel Comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Black Panther 2 will once again be directed and written by Ryan Coogler. Further details about the sequel’s plot are still being kept under wraps, but Kevin Feige previously confirmed that Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa would not be recast. Most of the first film’s cast is expected to return with the new addition of Tenoch Huerta (Narcos: Mexico), who has reportedly been cast as the antagonist.
The 2018 film starred the late Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Oscar winners Lupita Nyong’o and Forest Whitaker, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya Angela Bassett, Martin Freeman, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, and Andy Serkis.
Black Panther received seven nominations at the 91st Academy Awards, including Best Picture, with wins for Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design. Black Panther is the first superhero film to receive a Best Picture nomination and the first MCU film to win an Academy Award. It also received three nominations at the 76th Golden Globe Awards, two wins at the 25th Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three wins at the 24th Critics’ Choice Awards from 12 nominations, among others.