Today finally marks the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in UK cinemas – more than four years after the first film arrived to a wave of positive reviews.


The film is a deeply emotional one, paying tribute to T'Challa actor Chadwick Boseman after he tragically passed away from colon cancer in 2020, with the decision having been made not to recast his character.

Instead, it is a group of characters from the first film who take the lead in the sequel – including Letitia Wright's Shuri and Lupita Nyong'o's Nakia, meaning it is one of the first big blockbusters with a cast made up predominantly of black women.

"I think that the world of Wakanda was uniquely poised to allow for this," Nyong'o explained in an exclusive interview with when asked if the film marked another milestone for representation.

"Because in the first film, we establish a Wakanda where women have equity with men, where women have agency and they very much influenced the direction of the plot, and we surrounded T’Challa… and so in the loss of T’Challa, it’s only natural and organic that the women would be the ones most affected and then they'd be the ones that we would follow [in the story]."

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Lupita Nyong'O as Nakia in Marvel Studios' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.
Lupita Nyong'O as Nakia Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Marvel Studios

She continued: "I love that because it's organic, it's not anything that's forced or put upon, it's very much in the DNA. And what Wakanda shows us is a version of the world where women holding and having power is not remarkable, it's normal.

"And that's the thing to aspire to, to a moment when it's not special that a woman is in charge, that a woman is playing an important pivotal role in society or in a story. I think that's a very healthy thing to envision."

In addition to Nyong'o and the aforementioned Letitia Wright, the film also includes prominent roles for the likes of Danai Gurira as Okoye, Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams / Ironheart, Florence Kasumba as Ayo, Angela Bassett as Ramonda and I May Destroy You's Michaela Coel as Aneka.

Additional reporting by David Craig.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now playing in UK cinemas. Check out more of our Film coverage, and visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide for more to watch.

Watch the Marvel movies in order by signing up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 for a year.


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