Lupita Nyong'o feared for the 'Black Panther' franchise after the death of Chadwick Boseman.
The 39-year-old star returns as the spy Nakia for the sequel 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' and confessed that she didn't know how the series could continue when Boseman – who played the title role in the original film – died in 2020 after a private battle with cancer.
Speaking at the European premiere of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) blockbuster in London on Thursday (03.11.22), Lupita said: "When Chadwick Boseman died, it felt like the end. I couldn't imagine moving forward and I know Ryan (Coogler, director) felt the same way and a lot of us felt that way."
The '12 Years a Slave' star hailed the filmmaker for figuring out a way to move forward with the sequel that puts the other cast members at the centre.
She said: "He figured out a way to embrace the truth of what was going on in our lives and ask the questions about how you move forward and he made that the subject of this film.
"By doing so, he's given a chance to grieve, he's given us a chance to pay tribute and he's given us a chance to move forward and that's the one thing you have to do when someone dies in your life that means something to you. You have to re-evaluate why it's important to live."
Lupita revealed that she has been blown away by the response to the original 'Black Panther' film – which was the first Marvel movie with a black director and predominantly black cast.
She explained: "When we were making the first Black Panther, I knew it was special because I'd never read anything like that. From the first time Ryan talked to me about it I was like, 'I don't understand how Marvel has said yes to this movie. It just seemed so radical.'
"I knew it was special but there was no way I could predict this. The visceral ownership that people feel towards it, the pride that swells in people of African descent and the celebration of their culture."