Black Panther’s Daniel Kaluuya Reveals Why He Kept Not Returning For Wakanda Forever A Secret

Daniel Kaluuya's W'Kabi watching T'Challa and M'Baku's duel in Black Panther
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is always growing, and Phase Four has been a truly wild ride thus far. With Thor: Love and Thunder in the rearview, all eyes are on the next upcoming Marvel movie hitting theaters: Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. It was recently revealed that actor Daniel Kaluuya won’t be reprising his role as W’Kabi in the highly anticipated sequel, and the actor has explained why he kept that information a secret for so long.

Marvel Studios is known for its tight security, and the mysterious contents of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever are no exception in this regard. As such, fans were shocked when Daniel Kaluuya revealed he wouldn’t be appearing as W’Kabi in Ryan Coogler’s upcoming blockbuster. He recently explained the reasoning behind this secrecy, saying:

If I said anything, people would be really disappointed. That's how I feel about it. I think people will be disappointed. They don't want to be spoiled. They're surprised in whatever will happen. That's what was amazing about the first one.

He’s got a point. Daniel Kaluuya clearly understands how much the MCU as a whole (especially the Black Panther franchise) means to moviegoing audiences. And as such, he didn’t want to create any drama by revealing that he wasn’t part of the cast of Wakanda Forever. After all, many fans were hoping to see the Get Out actor back in the shared universe.

Daniel Kaluuya’s comments about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever come and he’s promoting his role in Jordan Peele’s upcoming movie Nope. In fact, it was a scheduling conflict with that highly anticipated horror flick that prevented him from returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We’ll just have to wait and see if/how Ryan Coogler references the character in the long-awaited sequel.

W’Kabi played a fairly important supporting role in the first Black Panther movie. On top of leading one of the country’s tribes and seeking vengeance for fallen Wakandans, he was also the romantic partner of Danai Gurira’s Okoye. While Daniel Kaluuya’s character briefly took the side of Killmonger, he eventually saw the error of his ways and relented. Kaluuya was noticeably missing from the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, despite Wakanda and its forces factoring into the action of both blockbusters. 

While W’Kabi won’t be in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, fans of Daniel Kaluuya’s work will be able to catch him on the big screen in Nope. This reunites him with Get Out filmmaker Jordan Peele, in what looks like Peele’s biggest movie yet. We’ll just have to see if this becomes another megahit and Awards Season favorite for the filmmaker.

Nope hits theaters on July 22nd, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will follow suit on November 11th. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. 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. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.