The actor played the fierce character of W’Kabi in the first installment, the best friend of the protagonist T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and chief of the Border Tribe who protected Wakanda’s frontiers with his armored Rhinoceros.
Following the box office success of “Black Panther,” preparations for a sequel were developed, with many principal cast members set to return. After multiple delays, the picture is slated to be released later this year.
However, fans were recently hit with the news that Kaluuya opted out of reprising his role.
No MCU Return For Daniel Kaluuya
According to awards editor Jacqueline Coley, Kaluuya has confirmed that he will not reprise his part as W’Kabi in Marvel’s “Black Panther” sequel, which will also not include the eponymous superhero formerly played by late Chadwick Boseman.
Coley shared the news via a post on her Twitter page on July 13, revealing that the actor would be missing in action due to scheduling conflicts owing to schedule difficulties because he had already committed to appear in Jordan Peele’s upcoming horror movie “Nope.”
It's official he's not in #BlackPantherWakandaForever
— 🍅Jacqueline🍅 (@THATJacqueline) July 13, 2022
The tweet read: “BREAKING NEWS: Fresh from my NOPE interview with Daniel Kaluuya, he did not reprise his role in #BlackPanther2 due to his schedule conflicts w/ #NOPE! It’s official he’s not in #BlackPantherWakandaForever.”
In the first Black Panther film, Kaluuya’s character turned villainous, linking up with Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger, which led to speculations that he’d take a more sinister role in “Wakanda Forever” or retrace his path to the good side. The recent news about his absence has dispelled those assumptions, bringing the actor’s stint on the franchise to an end.
Fans Are Bummed by The News
Fans reacted to the news by expressing their thoughts on why Kaluuya opted to forego the opportunity to feature in a Marvel sequel. Some speculated that an underlying motivation may have been the salary, while others were simply disappointed that he would not be returning.
“That’s a huge bummer. Was hoping to see a W’Kabi redemption,” one fan said.
“Every reason I had to watch that movie just got tossed out the window. Guess it’s another MCU skip for me,” another tweet read.
Some admirers also wished him well with his next part in Peele’s film, allowing him to test out for roles he is not renowned for.
I’m a marvel fan for sure but good for him. Peele already called him his DiNero and I agree. This allows him to expand his acting into diverse roles for us to enjoy.
Marvel will do just fine.
— KC カーシユ (@breaks_dj) July 13, 2022
“I’m a marvel fan for sure, but good for him. Peele already called him his DiNero, and I agree. This allows him to expand his acting into diverse roles for us to enjoy. Marvel will do just fine.”
‘Black Panther 2’
“Black Panther 2” production was initially halted when actor Chadwick Boseman died on Aug. 28, 2020, after a four-year struggle with colon cancer. The COVID-19 pandemic also significantly influenced the project, as several performers became infected with the easily transmissible virus.
Letitia Wright, who starred as Shuri and will have a larger role in the upcoming film, was also wounded on a stunt rig on the film set in late November 2021, delaying the film’s completion until March 2022.
While the film’s narrative has yet to be divulged, it has been confirmed that Boseman’s iconic role as T’Challa will not be recast, implying that fans will be treated to a completely new screenplay when the film premieres on November 11.
Aside from Wright, original cast members Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Freeman, Winston Duke, Danny Spani, and Angela Bassett are expected to reprise their roles. Michaela Coel and Tenoch Huerta have also been cast in unspecified roles in the film.
Daniel Kaluuya To Star In ‘Nope’
Meanwhile, Kaluuya’s role in “Nope” will reconnect him with Peele, who he worked with on the 2017 horror thriller “Get Out.” The British-born actor played a young photographer, Christopher Washington, and received an Oscar nod for the role.
In an interview with Essence, Kaluuya admitted that “Get Out” was his “first starring part ever” and revealed how it led to a slew of award nominations. Truly, four years after the feature, the actor would win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Judas and the Black Messiah.”
Based on this, it’s easy to see why the actor would want to re-team with Peele, who provided him the opportunity to be the front man. “Nope” will also star Keke Palmer and Steven Yeun alongside Kaluuya and follow the story of individuals from a remote community who witness a bizarre UFO occurrence and decide to explore it.
“Nope” is set to debut in theaters on July 22.