Actress Letitia Wright has said the cast of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever took all their love for the late Chadwick Boseman and channelled it into the upcoming film.
Boseman, who played the lead role of King T’Challa in the first instalment of the ground-breaking Marvel blockbuster, died in 2020 aged 43 following a private four-year battle with colon cancer.
Bafta Rising Star winner Wright, who is reprising her role as Shuri, told Elle UK magazine that she hopes the sequel will help “all the people who have lost people”.
Discussing how they honoured the memory of Boseman on set, she said: “In the moments that we have joy, I just sense him kicking back, laughing with God, like, ‘Wow, look at my sisters’.
“We took all the love that we had for him and we put it into the film.”
She added: “You wish you held on to him longer but he’s not here. So all that you have is to piece together the memories and what he’s left behind.
“Make it beautiful and give it back to the world. I’m praying that this film helps all the people who have lost people.”
Directed by Ryan Coogler, the sequel will see the leaders of Wakanda fight to protect their nation in the wake of King T’Challa’s death.
Boseman’s role as King T’Challa has not been recast or digitally recreated for the second film.
Also returning for the sequel is Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Martin Freeman as Everett K Ross and Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda.
Nyong’o admitted to Elle UK that she was “dreading” discussing the new direction of the sequel after Boseman’s death but said Coogler’s idea offered her a “breath of relief”.
“He offered a raft out of a deep sea of grief”, she added.
The actress also reflected on the significance of having a diverse group of black female actors in the film.
“We get to see them be fully human. That’s something that, as black women, we are often not afforded on-screen”, she said.
“And there are so many female characters. All too often in these movies, there’s a token one or two. Here, you’re seeing a community.”
Wright, Nyong’o and Gurira star on the cover of Elle’s UK November issue.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be released in UK cinemas on November 11.