Black Panther star Daniel Kaluuya will not appear in the upcoming sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Rotten Tomatoes awards editor Jacqueline Coley recently sat down with Kaluuya, who confirmed that he would not be reprising his role as W’Kabi in Wakanda Forever due to scheduling conflicts with Jordan Peele’s Nope. Some of Coley’s followers asked if “scheduling conflicts” might be code for any other underlying reason, though the journalist reiterated that the two movies were shot at the same time. Wakanda Forever and Nope each began production in June 2021.
Earlier this year, rumors spread that Kaluuya would return for the Black Panther sequel after a costume designer’s resume appeared to confirm this casting information. In 2018’s Black Panther, Kaluuya played W’Kabi, a close confidante of T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and husband of Okoye (Danai Gurira). However, W’Kaba ended up turning on his king and wife in order to side with the villainous Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan).
It's official he's not in #BlackPantherWakandaForever
— 🍅Jacqueline🍅 (@THATJacqueline) July 13, 2022
Wakanda Forever is currently slated to release in theaters later this year on Friday, Nov. 11. The film will serve, in part, to honor Boseman, who tragically passed away in August 2020. While Marvel Studios has kept story details for the Black Panther sequel under wraps, characters like Shuri (Letitia Wright) and Okoye are confirmed to be involved, as are a number of other familiar faces from the first film. Rumors also point to the Marvel Cinematic Universe introduction of Namor the Sub-Mariner.
Meanwhile, Kaluuya is slated to lead the charge in Nope after previously starring in Peele’s 2017 horror film Get Out. Nope centers on two ranch-owning siblings whose father is killed when an unidentified object falls from the sky and crushes him. In turn, OJ (Kaluuya) and Emerald Haywood (Keke Palmer) hire a tech salesman to help them capture video evidence of a UFO. In addition to Kaluuya and Palmer, the film stars Steven Yeun, Michael Wincott and Brandon Perea. Nope is set to release in theaters on Friday, July 22.