When Black Panther was released in 2018, the world watched in awe as Chadwick Boseman saved Wakanda as the Black Panther. When the actor died in 2020, the world mourned over the loss of an icon. Now, with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever up next in Marvel’s upcoming releases, the women of the movie are opening up about what it was like to prepare for the highly-anticipated sequel without the man who was supposed to lead the franchise forward.
Many involved with the movie have been incredibly candid about what it’s been like going through this process without Boseman as King T’Challa. The film’s director, Ryan Coogler, honored him by giving a touching speech saying he could feel the actor’s presence on stage at San Diego Comic-Con. One of the film’s stars, Winston Duke, spoke about the “gaping hole” Boseman’s absence created on set. Now, in an interview with The New York Times, more of the movie’s stars, including Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright and Danai Gurira, spoke about how they each prepared for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Nyong’o has said filming was “therapeutic,” and she recently spoke again about this process, saying:
While we only know the basics of the Black Panther sequel’s plot, what we do know about Wakanda Forever is that it will honor Boseman’s legacy and explore the major other characters in Wakanda more. Letitia Wright spoke about how her character Shuri is coping with her brother T’Challa’s death.
As for the actress herself, Wright talked to NYT about how the process of coming back was “spiritual.” She also mentioned how she connected a lot with Danai Gurira, who plays Okoye. Gurira agreed with Wright, elaborating on how grief played a role in her process with these words:
While sad, it’s been beautiful to see all the care the cast and creatives behind this movie have put into the sequel, for Chadwick Boseman and for Black Panther. Just looking at the Wakanda Forever trailer, it became clear his presence would still be felt during the movie in a massive way. This collective love for each other and Boseman has been imprinted on Wakanda Forever, and we will all get to honor the great actor, character and the entire team behind one of the most anticipated movies of 2022 starting on November 11.