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Lupita Nyong’o reflects on making Wakanda Forever after losing Chadwick Boseman

"He was with us," Nyong'o says of making the Black Panther sequel following Boseman's death

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Lupita Nyong'o reflects on making Wakanda Forever after Chadwick Boseman's death
Lupita Nyong’o and Chadwick Boseman
Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez (Getty Images)

Marvel’s slate of major announcements at San Diego Comic-Con made a huge buzz, but the teaser for the highly anticipated Black Panther sequel might be the most exciting of all. Still, the new Wakanda Forever footage is somewhat bittersweet given that T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) looms so large over the story.

“It’s been a doozy of a few years for everybody,” Lupita Nyong’o tells The Hollywood Reporter. “For us as a cast, having lost our king, Chadwick Boseman, that was a lot to process, and in many ways, we’re still processing it. When you lose someone, I don’t know when you stop missing them. And of course, we felt it so much, making this film without him.”

The actor, who plays T’Challa’s love interest Nakia, continues, “To make this film against all odds is a powerful statement unto itself, and I am very proud that we did it. It was very therapeutic. It restored a sense of hope for me in making it, and I think we’ve expanded the world of Wakanda in ways that will blow people’s minds—not just Wakanda, but the Black Panther world. It’s gonna blow people’s minds, and I just cannot wait until it’s not a secret anymore.”

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The question on everyone’s minds: Who is the new Black Panther, seen briefly at the end of the teaser? Of course, Marvel will keep that info safely locked down until the film premieres in November. But Nyong’o told MTV News on the SDCC red carpet that the production honored the original Black Panther both on screen and behind the scenes.

“Our call sheets didn’t have a #1. That was reserved for Chadwick. He was with us,” she said. “This script… when you take your pain and make something beautiful out of it, it resonates. And I think that’s what people were feeling in Hall H today, and I hope that’s what people will continue to feel as they see a little bit more and finally get to see the movie.”