‘Avengers: Endgame’: Why Was ‘Black Panther’s’ Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia Left Out of the Final Battle?

The final battle sequence in Avengers: Endgame brought back some of our favorite characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for one last hurrah. But one important hero missing from the bunch was Black Panther’s Nakia, played by Lupita Nyong’o. Turns out, the actress was originally supposed to be featured in the final fight with Thanos (Josh Brolin). So why didn’t Nyong’o make it into the film?

Avengers Endgame Lupita Nyongo
Lupita Nyong’o was noticeably absent from ‘Avengers: Endgame’ | Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage

Marvel released ‘Avengers: Endgame’ concept art

Marvel recently released some concept art for the final battle of Endgame and fans were surprised to see Nakia in the scene. The character is shown alongside the likes of Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Shuri (Letitia Wright), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and Mantis (Pom Klementieff).

The art clearly shows that Nakia was originally supposed to join the Avengers as they battled it out with Thanos over the fate of the universe. But in the movie, the character failed to appear anywhere.

Nakia’s role in the movie would have been very limited, but her appearance in the last fight was something fans were looking forward to.

After all, the character did not appear in Avengers: Infinity War, despite most of her Black Panther counterparts making some kind of cameo.

Why wasn’t Nakia in ‘Avengers: Endgame’?

Nyong’o has, unfortunately, not commented on why she did not participate in Avengers: Infinity War or Avengers: Endgame. According to Heroic Hollywood, the actress was likely unable to make filming because of her busy schedule.

She is, however, fully expected to make an appearance in Black Panther 2. We do not know how big of a role her character will have, but we cannot wait to see her again.

When she does come back, she will have to explain why she was absent for both major battles. After all, the war with Thanos was easily the most significant event so far in the MCU, so she would have needed something very important to keep her away.

Sadly, Black Panther 2 is not scheduled to open in theaters until May of 2022, so it will be a long time before we see Nakia back in action.

Marvel opens up about A-Force snub

Nakia was not the only female character who was snubbed during an important moment in Avengers: Endgame. At one point in the movie, all of the female superheroes gathered together to help Captain Marvel get the infinity gauntlet to safety.

This included Gamora, Nebula, Shuri, Okoye, Scarlet Witch, and The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly). But one character missing from the action was Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).

The reason Natasha did not make the scene is because she died helping Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) obtain the Soul Stone earlier in the film.

In a recent interview, Marvel’s lead artist, Andy Park, admitted that he wishes Natasha would have made the A-Force scene in Avengers: Endgame. But he is still proud that they were able to get the scene into the final cut.

“The theme of this whole moment, the idea is something that I can be very proud of—women gathering together and just showing how powerful they are in the MCU,” Park shared. “It’s not an easy feat, but it was very fun. It was just so sad that I couldn’t include Black Widow.”

Captain Marvel’s ‘Endgame’ scene was almost changed

In the final version of Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel appears at a pivotal point in the battle, destroying Thanos’s spaceship and helping turn the tide in the fight. But there was a point in time when Captain Marvel’s entrance was not nearly as grand. In the original script, the character was set to appear right before the battle started.

Thanos’ bombardment of the Avengers headquarters was going to knock Captain Marvel out of the fight, with several of her female counterparts protecting her until she got back on her feet.

Marvel, of course, changed the script and had Captain Marvel appear much later in the fight. Not only did this offer the character a better entrance, but it also allowed Marvel to sideline her until they absolutely needed her.

Considering Captain Marvel’s godlike powers, the studio needed to keep her away from the fray until the last moment in Avengers: Endgame. Having her off-planet served that purpose, though it would have been interesting to see how the original script would have played out.