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Following months of speculation, Daniel Kaluuya has confirmed that he did not reprise his role of W’Kabi in the Black Panther sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. While most of the original cast has returned to buoy the film that already faced an uphill battle due to the death of Chadwick Boseman, Kaluuya’s involvement was a question mark given his career’s meteoric rise. However, his absence from Wakanda Forever all came down to scheduling, which got thrown to the wind for virtually every production in the wake of COVID.
The news of Kaluuya not returning was first reported by Rotten Tomatoes editor Jacqueline Coley who scored the exclusive scoop while interviewing the actor for the upcoming release of Jordan Peele’s Nope.
“Fresh from my NOPE interview with Daniel Kaluuya he did not reprise his role in #BlackPanther2 due to his schedule conflicts w/ #NOPE!” Coley tweeted.
It's official he's not in #BlackPantherWakandaForever
— Jacqueline (@THATJacqueline) July 13, 2022
Kaluuya not returning shines a spotlight on the Black Panther sequel, which has remained highly secretive about its story despite its November release date fast approaching. Director Ryan Coogler has been open about the struggles of making the film without Boseman, which added a sizable challenge on top of the already arduous task of recreating the global phenomenon sparked by the first film.
“This is one of the more profound things that I’ve gone through in my life, having to be a part of keeping this project going without this particular person who is like the glue who held it together,” Coogler told the Jemele Hill is Unbothered podcast last year. He added, “For this individual, who is an ancestor now, I was there for it. It’s such an incredible privilege that fills you up as much as it knocks you out. So often as Black people, we have to pick up the pieces after loss.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever arrives in theaters on November 11, 2022.