Now that Thor: Love and Thunder is out in the world, Marvel Cinematic Universe fans have the Black Panther sequel to look forward to — Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The next MCU theatrical release will bring audiences back to the world of Wakanda, but this time, a couple of characters will be missing.
Daniel Kaluuya will not appear in the ‘Black Panther’ sequel
Rotten Tomatoes’ Jacqueline Coley confirmed that Daniel Kaluuya, who played W’Kabi in Black Panther, won’t return for the sequel. Coley reported that she interviewed the actor during the press tour for his movie Nope, and Kaluuya exclusively told her that he wouldn’t appear in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever due to scheduling conflicts.
Kaluuya’s character W’Kabi was the head of security for Wakanda’s Border tribe and was a close friend of King T’Challa. He is also Okoye’s husband. But when Erik Killmonger came to Wakanda, W’Kabi joined forces with him to overthrow T’Challa after losing faith in the king. That meant that he and Okoye were on opposite sides of the fight, and he later surrendered to his wife.
So as far as we know, W’Kabi is still in custody in Wakanda.
Kaluuya previously spoke with Jemele Hill in early 2021 about the Black Panther sequel. He said, “I have no idea [if I’m in it]. I speak to [director] Ryan [Coogler], I’m not gonna go, ‘Yo, [put me in the movie].’ He’s living his life and working hard. Whatever the story needs, you know? That [first movie] was a moment for us, and I don’t want to go, ‘I’m trying to be in it just because I want it.’ It’s for us. I’m a fan.”
Kaluuya continued, “I’m that kind of person if the story and the piece is better without me, I’m like, ‘Yo, I’m gonna watch this,’ because I really wanna watch it. And if I’m in it and I’m able to serve it, then I’m in it. And I just stay in that position.”
The actor addresses his absence in the sequel
Following the news that Daniel Kaluuya wouldn’t reprise his role as W’Kabi in the Black Panther sequel, the actor spoke with Entertainment Tonight.
“It’s love, man,” he explained. “But also, I’ve heard things, and I know that they’re gonna do [Chadwick Boseman] an incredible, incredible, incredible service, so that’s what I really care about. I can’t wait to watch it.”
As fans remember, Chadwick Boseman, who played T’Challa in the MCU since Captain America: Civil War, died from colon cancer on Aug. 28, 2020. The Black Panther sequel was in the early stages of development at the time of his death. So Ryan Coogler had to shift directions to change the story.
It’s unclear how Black Panther: Wakanda Forever addresses Boseman’s absence. But in addition to Kaluuya’s statement and comments from other actors involved, it sounds like the sequel will honor Boseman’s legacy beautifully.
Everything we know about ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’
The cast of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever includes Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Winston Duke as M’Baku, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, and Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams/Ironheart. Michaela Coel also appears in the Black Panther sequel in an undisclosed role.
Ryan Coogler directed the film and co-wrote it with Joe Robert Cole.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premieres exclusively in theaters on Nov. 11, 2022.