Director Ryan Coogler has “reshaped” the second Black Panther film to be respectful of Chadwick Boseman.
The actress, 38, spoke about the upcoming Marvel film in an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment while promoting her new YouTube Original animated series Super Sema.
“People will ask me, ‘Are you excited to go back?’ Excitement isn’t the word,” Nyong’o said. “I feel like I’m in a very pensive and meditative state when it comes to Black Panther 2. [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.”
Black Panther 2 is set to begin production in Atlanta with director Ryan Coogler returning to helm the film. Coogler has also written the screenplay.
Nyong’o said Coogler’s script carefully addresses Boseman’s absence after the actor died in August of last year at the age of 43 from a four-year struggle with colon cancer.
“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,” Nyong’o said. “And his idea, 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 continued, “So it feels spiritually and emotionally correct to do this. And hopefully, what I do look forward to, is getting back together and honoring what he started with us and holding his light through it. Because he left us a lot of light that we’re still going to be bathing in. I know that for sure.”
In March, Coogler, 34, revealed he was “still currently going through” his grief while working on the Black Panther 2 script.
“One thing that I’ve learned in my short or long time on this Earth is that it’s very difficult to have perspective on something while you’re going through it,” Coogler said on the Jemele Hill Is Unbothered podcast.
In an interview earlier this year with The Hollywood Reporter, Coogler added that Boseman “wouldn’t have wanted us to stop” working on the sequel, sharing that he “was somebody who was so about the collective.”
Black Panther 2 is set to be released on July 8, 2022.