Why Daniel Kaluuya won’t be returning for ‘Black Panther 2’
Daniel Kaluuya will not reprise his role as W’Kabi in the forthcoming sequel to “Black Panther.”
On Wednesday, Rotten Tomatoes awards editor Jacqueline Coley broke the news via Twitter that Kaluuya will not appear in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” because of “schedule conflicts” related to another project: Jordan Peele’s “Nope.”
The Times confirmed Wednesday that the British actor was not able to participate in Ryan Coogler’s “Wakanda Forever” because he had already committed to starring in “Nope” before he was asked to come back for the second “Black Panther” installment.
Kaluuya has a history of collaborating with “Nope” writer-director Peele. The same year “Black Panther” came out, Kaluuya received an Oscar nomination for his leading performance in Peele’s feature directorial debut, “Get Out.”
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In 2018’s “Black Panther,” Kaluuya portrayed W’Kabi, head of security for Wakanda’s Border Tribe and best friend of Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa. Since Marvel and Disney announced plans for a follow-up to “Black Panther” shortly after the Oscar-winning film premiered, the production has experienced a number of setbacks.
Initially, Boseman was poised to reunite with Coogler and return to the screen as the titular superhero on May 6, 2022. But plans changed in the summer of 2020, before production began, when the 43-year-old actor died after a private battle with colon cancer.
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Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said in a statement to Deadline at the time that Boseman’s “portrayal of T’Challa the Black Panther is iconic and transcends any iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past.
“To honor the legacy that Chad helped us build through his portrayal of the king of Wakanda,” Feige said, “we want to continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film.”
Actor Chadwick Boseman, who played real-life icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown before finding fame as the regal “Black Panther” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has died of cancer.
In June 2021, the sequel started filming at Georgia’s Pinewood Studios with a new release date of July 8, 2022. By that fall, the studio paused production on “Black Panther 2” to allow Letitia Wright — who plays T’Challa’s tech-savvy sister, Shuri — to recover from injuries sustained on set.
The delay came amid reports that Wright had expressed antivaccination views behind the scenes of the film — a rumor the actor deemed “completely untrue.”
This past January, the “Black Panther 2” shooting schedule was reportedly delayed yet again by the Omicron wave of COVID-19 cases, which affected members of the cast and crew.
Disney and Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” now is slated to hit theaters Nov. 11, while Universal Pictures’ “Nope” opens in wide release July 22.
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