Daniel Kaluuya Reveals He Had to Bow Out of 'Black Panther 2' Due to 'Nope' Scheduling Conflict

The Oscar-nominated actor played the best friend and head of security to T'Challa, played by the late Chadwick Boseman, in 2018's smash hit movie

BLACK PANTHER, Daniel Kaluuya, 2018.
Photo: Matt Kennedy/Marvel/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Daniel Kaluuya will not be reprising his role as W'Kabi in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

On Wednesday, sources confirmed to Variety that though he was asked to return, Kaluuya, 33, had already committed to starring in Jordan Peele's upcoming horror film Nope and therefore had to turn down the role.

The Oscar-nominated actor played the best friend and head of security to T'Challa, played by the late Chadwick Boseman, in 2018's smash hit Black Panther.

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed to Variety in June 2021 that the sequel to 2018's Black Panther had started filming at Atlanta's Pinewood Studios.

Chadwick Boseman
Chadwick Boseman. Rick Rowell via Getty

Feige, 48, added to the outlet that the start of production on the film (which is written and directed once more by the first film's helmer, Ryan Coogler) was "very emotional without" Boseman, who died 10 months prior at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer.

For more on Daniel Kaluuya not reprising his role as W'Kabi, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

"But everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans," Feige said during a Black Widow Global Fan Event in Los Angeles, according to Variety.

"We're going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud," he added.

During Disney's Investor Day in December, Feige also announced that in honor of Boseman, his titular role as the Wakandan superhero would not be recast.

Instead, the upcoming film "will explore the world of Wakanda & the rich characters introduced in the first film," Disney shared on Twitter.

Black Panther
Chadwick Boseman. Marvel/Disney/Kobal/Shutterstock

Boseman's costar Lupita Nyong'o spoke about the upcoming film in an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment in April, saying that her feelings about returning to the Black Panther universe go beyond "excitement."

"I'm in a very pensive and meditative state when it comes to Black Panther 2," said the actress, 38. "[Chadwick's] passing is still extremely raw for me. And I can't even begin to imagine what it will be like to step on set and not have him there."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Nyong'o explained that Coogler's screenplay carefully addresses Boseman's absence, saying, "At the same time we have a leader in Ryan, who feels very much like we do, who feels the loss in a very, very real way as well."

"The way which he has reshaped the second movie is so respectful of the loss we've all experienced as a cast and as a world," she added.

Wakanda Forever is set to premiere later this year on Nov. 11. Nope will debut in theaters on July 22.

Related Articles