Black Panther’s Lupita Nyong’o Explains Why It’s So ‘Hard’ To Continue Without Chadwick Boseman

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a massively popular franchise, but certain properties have risen above the rest as fan favorites. Ryan Coogler's Black Panther is definitely in that category, as the 2018 film was an Award Season favorite that broke new ground for the genre. Chadwick Boseman played T'Challa in four installments of the MCU, becoming a real-life hero to many before his unexpected death last summer. A Black Panther sequel is currently in development, and actress Lupita Nyong'o has explained why it's so difficult to move on without Boseman.

At the time of his death, Chadwick Boseman's career seemed limitless. He'd already been an acclaimed actor, balancing the platform of Black Panther with pedigree films like Da 5 Bloods and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Now Ryan Coogler must try to continue the story of Wakanda while properly honoring the late actor. Nakia actress Lupita Nyong'o recently spoke to this emotionally arduous task, saying:

It's still so hard for me to come to terms with his passing. His leadership. He led the movie with such compassion and just presence. When Chadwick came on set, he was present and he brought his entire being to that movie. And he was just so humble as well. That leadership will be missed.

Since Chadwick Boseman's death, seemingly endless tributes to the actor's character have poured in. Many Black Panther cast/crew members have echoed this statement: that Boseman led the blockbuster's cast by example. Wakanda forever, indeed.

Lupita Nyong'o addressed the difficulty of Black Panther 2 while appearing in The Ellen Degeneres Show. The long-running talk show host turned the subject to Nyong'o's role in the MCU, and specifically what it's like mourning Chadwick Boseman. Those involved in the franchise are keeping their creative cards close to the chest, while continually reflecting on Boseman's legacy.

Marvel fans can re-watch Chadwick Boseman's tenure on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

Later in her same interview, Lupita Nyong'o went on to explain exactly how she's feeling about Chadwick Boseman's passing. While grief is an ever-changing, the Oscar wining actress was generous enough to share her feelings, saying:

He was my friend. So it’s hard to think of him in the past. I do know for certain he would want us to do this, and I feel what Ryan Coogler has planned very much honors him and his legacy. So I feel good about going back.

Everyone involved in Black Panther 2 seems committed to honoring Chadwick Boseman in the upcoming Marvel sequel. Exactly what Ryan Coogler is planning remains a mystery, but it's sure to make for an emotional experience for the cast and crew. And with so many fans looking up to the late actor as a real-life hero, the importance of Black Panther's sequel is clear.

One of the biggest questions surrounding Black Panther 2 is which character will take on the Wakandan mantle. There are a number of prime candidates, including Shuri, Okoye, and M'Baku. What's clear is that Ryan Coogler won't be recasting T'Challa or bringing Chadwick Boseman back digitally throughout the course of the sequel.

The next installment in the MCU is Black Widow on July 9th. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.