Lupita Nyong’o opened up about what it was like to discover the rewritten “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” script while processing the death of Chadwick Boseman.
In a special interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Nyong’o, who reprises the role of Nakia — a fighter, activist and lover of T’Challa, the king of Wakanda [Boseman]” — in the upcoming “Black Panther” sequel, recalled a Zoom meeting she had with writer-director Ryan Coogler regarding his plan for the new script, which previously centered on Boseman’s character and evolution as a powerful warrior.
Instead of recasting T’Challa, given that the script was “very much rooted in [his] perspective”, as Coogler noted, the writer and his co-writer, Joe Robert Cole, decided to pen a new script that would include the leader’s death and reframe the story from another character’s perspective, essentially a different Wakandan becoming Black Panther.
“Every time I thought about what the next ‘Black Panther’ could be, my imagination fell short,” Nyong’o said of moving on in the franchise without the “centerpiece” of the film, the man who played her king.
“Even just talking about ‘Black Panther’ in the midst of still grieving Chadwick, it was really complicated emotionally to do,” she continued. “Ryan wrote something that so honoured the truth of what every one of us was feeling, those of us who knew Chadwick.”
“He created something that could honour that and carry the story forward,” she added, noting that, “by the end, I was weeping.”
Boseman suddenly passed away in August 2020 of colon cancer. His death shocked the world, including his closest coworkers like Nyong’o who felt “paralyzed” after learning of his passing.
For more on the actress’ rise to fame and the hardships Nyong’o faced along the way, check out her full cover story by THR. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” hits theatres on Nov. 11.