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Daniel Kaluuya will not be in the Black Panther sequel, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Rotten Tomatoes was first to report the news.
Kaluuya, who will soon be seen in the Jordan Peele thriller Nope, played W’Kabi, the best friend to T’Challa/Black Panther and the husband of Okoye, played by Danai Gurira, who is expected to return for the sequel, Wakanda Forever.
Kaluuya told Rotten Tomatoes that he had to back out due to scheduling conflicts with Peele’s movie, which is due out in theaters this month.
The Black Panther 2 shoot was plagued by setbacks after star Chadwick Boseman died of colon cancer in August 2020, with Marvel and the filmmakers having to reconceive the project. The movie was further delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, including several stars testing positive for COVID on set. In August 2021, star Letitia Wright suffered an injury while filming a sequence involving a stunt rig on location in Boston. Production then shut down in late November after the Wakanda Forever team filmed as much as they could without Wright, while she continued to heal at her home in London.
Wright — who expressed anti-COVID vaccine sentiments, raising concerns about her return after the CDC implemented rules requiring all non-immigrant and non-citizen air travelers to the U.S. to be fully vaccinated — eventually returned to the Atlanta set and filming resumed in January. At the time, it was reported that M’Baku actor Winston Duke was taking on an expanded role in the Panther mythos.
As of now, Wakanda Forever is still dated for Nov. 11, 2022.
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