British-Ugandan actor Daniel Kaluuya will not be starring in the Black Panther sequel when the movie hits the theaters later this year, Variety reported. 2018’s Black Panther saw Kaluuya portraying W’Kabi, the Wakanda Border Tribe’s head of security and King T’Challa’s best friend and confidant.
Sources told the news outlet that though the 33-year-old was asked to come back for the sequel, he was unable to do so because he had already committed to appear in Nope – a yet-to-be-released horror film directed by Jordan Peele.
The news of Kaluuya not reprising his role was also tweeted by Rotten Tomatoes awards editor Jacqueline Coley on Wednesday. Coley confirmed it was “due to his schedule conflicts” with Nope.
Ryan Coogler returned to direct and also write Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. And though the movie’s production ultimately concluded in March, there were a few setbacks before and after filming commenced.
Chadwick Boseman was initially set to reprise his role as King T’Challa and the Black Panther superhero. But production had to be altered following his unfortunate death in 2020. In the wake of his passing, Disney announced that Boseman wasn’t going to be recast with a new actor. Rather, they said the sequel would “explore the world of Wakanda & the rich characters introduced in the first film.”
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige also reiterated that in a statement to Deadline, saying that the deceased actor’s “portrayal of T’Challa the Black Panther is iconic and transcends any iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past.”
“To honor the legacy that Chad helped us build through his portrayal of the king of Wakanda, we want to continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film,” Feige added in the 2020 statement.
The movie’s production started in June 2021. But production was later halted to allow Letitia Wright to recover after she sustained injuries during filming in August. Production was also paused in January in the wake of the COVID-19 Omicron wave, Los Angeles Times reported.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to be released in theaters on November 11.