Black Panther returns – but the cast say it felt ‘hollow’ without Chadwick Boseman | Ents & Arts News


Rarely has a sequel been so keenly anticipated and perhaps never has it been so, knowing that the lead character is no more, in the movie and reality.

The death of Chadwick Boseman, who played T’Challa, the Black Panther, threw the public and the cast into deep shock and grief.

Director Ryan Coogler initially thought about quitting filmmaking during the trauma of it all, but once he decided to continue with his craft, he then had to figure out a way to make the movie without its star.

The result is a moving tribute to Chadwick Boseman and a story of loss, grief and dealing with bereavement, with loads of action and of course some surprises along the way.

Lupita Nyong’o returns as Nakia, the love interest of King T’Challa, and for her, it was a challenge on and off the set.

“It felt hollow without Chadwick,” she told Sky News.

“But I was so relieved that we didn’t have to leave our grief at home.

“This set was built to explore grief. The story was built to explore grief. Each character is going through grief in different ways.

“Playing Nakia was actually extremely therapeutic, playing her really was healing.”

Lupita Nyong'o says the set was 'hollow' without Boseman. Pic: Marvel Studios
Lupita Nyong’o says the set was ‘hollow’ without Boseman. Pic: Marvel Studios

In the Black Panther sequel, global powers attempt to pillage the precious metal “vibranium” from the fictional land of Wakanda – a resource that allowed the fictitious country to become the most technologically rich nation in the world and Wakanda is the only place where it is found.

But a new source is discovered at the bottom of the ocean and that discovery and who it belongs to causes war.

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In their pursuit of vibranium it is the FBI who fan the flames of war, but Martin Freeman, who plays agent Everett K Ross, maintains his soft spot for the Wakandans.

He laughs when telling me that he doesn’t actually want to be a Wakandan, but is happy being a good ally.

“I think he desperately wants to keep the world in some vague equilibrium. He knows Wakanda’s potential power and he knows that potential, if it was used wrongly, things could get really, really bad.”

So to the central question, does Black Panther return? For that answer, the film is released in the UK on 11 November.


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