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'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' centers strong women and grief - Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o arrives at the world premiere of "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.   -  
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Richard Shotwell/2022 Invision


The stars were out Wednesday (Oct 26) in Los Angeles for the world premiere of "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever." Afrobeats star Rema revealed Thursday he was featuring one of the movie's tracks.

A few more weeks to go before much-anticipated Marvel 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' hits theaters.

With the death of Chadwick Boseman, the characters in the film are also grieving the death of his character T'Challa. Boseman, died in August 2020 from colon cancer at 43.

Portraying on screen a grieving cast offscreen was a choice by writer and director Ryan Coogler. Cast members attending the Los Angeles world premiere, Wednesday (Oct 26), welcomed Coogler's choice.

"I was very relieved with what he did with this story", Lupita Nyong'o revealed.

"I had been dreading it. And then when he walked me through it, I was like, 'Oh, phew, we don't have to pretend like we are not in grief, you know? We got to use our grief and we got to just add juice to Chadwick's legacy."

Fighting for the survival of Wakanda

In the 2-hour 41-minute film screening in November, Nyong'o aka Nakia, the beloved of late T'Challa, must chart her country Wakanda's path forward.

The Kenyan-Mexican actress is not alone, she is part of a core group of strong female characters.

"We started off that with a female empowerment theme in our first film with Chadwick as our Black Panther", the 39-year old explains.

"And, so, it's very much in the DNA of this 'Black Panther' world. And now with T'Challa's passing, these women are dealing with that and figuring out the way forward by their power, their agency is something that was set in the first one. And we get to see it flourish in this one."

COVID and injuries extended the shoot to more than eight months. But the long road to the premiere was all worth for Laetitia Wright who plays Shuri. The co-star was most especially excited to be part of a strong female squad.

"It's an honor. And it's about time, And for people championing that, like Ryan Coogler, allowing the voices of women to be at the forefront of this movie is beautiful", Wright said.

"It can only inspire. It can only allow people to be inspired and create a ripple-chain effect of positivity."

The Wakanda women and men fight to protect their kingdom from intervening world powers including the underwater city of Talokan.

Many of the original actors are in the sequel, including Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Winston Duke or Florence Kasumba.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the latest production from Marvel Studios, will have an official African premiere in Lagos, Nigeria.

Nigerian artist Tems is featured in one of the tracks for the movie. She sings a cover of No Woman No Cry by Bob Marley.

Tems was accredited by Rihanna and Marvel team for co-writing Rihanna’s first single in 6 years, "Lift Me Up". Other African singers featured on the Black Panther Wakanda forever soudtrack include Ghanaian Amaarae with A Body, A Coffin and Rema. He took it toTwitter on Thursday, October 27, to reveal his appearance on the original soundtrack.

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