Variety confirmed that Kaluuya shared that he will not reprise his role, W’Kabi, in the upcoming Black Panther sequel. Sources close to the project told the publication that Kaluuya was asked to return, but had already committed to star in Jordan Peele’s horror film Nope. The Oscar award-winning actor was nominated for his starring breakout role in Peele’s 2017 hit Get Out.
Kaluuya played W’Kabi in the first Black Panther filmed, which debuted in 2018. He played the best friend and confidant to T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), and the head of security for the Border Tribe.
Kaluuya’s presence will certainly be missed in the second coming of this long-awaited film alongside other pivotal characters in the franchise.
After the unfortunate death of Chadwick Boseman in 2020, Marvel made the decision to explore other characters from the Black Panther universe. The film still aims to honor the legacy Boseman left behind with his role as T’Challa, the original and only Black Panther.
It was initially confirmed that the film’s original stars Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke and Angela Bassett would return. Kaluuya’s involvement in the sequel was always unclear.
Newcomers, Dominque Thorne, Michaela Coel and Tenoch Huerta will join the upcoming film in undisclosed roles.
The Ryan Coogler-directed film wrapped filming back in March. Wakanda Forever is set to debut on November 11, 2022.
Kaluuya is gearing up for the release of Nope on July 22. The sci-fi horror film stars Kaluuya alongside Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun and Brandon Perea. Nope follows the residents of an isolated town who witness a mysterious event involving a UFO and set out to investigate it.