Marvel fans are finally heading back to Wakanda this week with the release of the Black Panther sequel. Several characters make surprise returns, and there’s an extended tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, but one character remains mysteriously absent.
In the 2018 blockbuster that went on to become one of the biggest box-office success stories of all time, British actor Daniel Kaluuya played W’Kabi, the chief of Wakanda’s Border Tribe.
Cast your mind back to events of Black Panther and you’ll remember that W’Kabi betrayed Wakanda’s leader T’Challa (Boseman) by siding with villain Erik Killmonger (Michael B Jordan). It resulted in W’Kabi going into battle against his own wife, the Dora Milaje general Okoye (Danai Gurira).
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler has explained the character’s absence in the movie, explaining that he was banished following his treacherous actions in the previous movie.
He told Cinema Blend that W’Kabi was ‘basically banished, but still within Wakanda’s borders’, adding that there’s a line in Wakanda Forever that refers to the character still being alive, so it’s not impossible to envisage the return of Kaluuya in future films.
The truth is most likely a basic clash of filming commitments, specifically his work on Jordan Peele’s recent horror spectacular, Nope. But at least there’s now a canon explanation to fill one of the smallest plot holes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Kaluuya is keeping himself firmly rooted in the Marvel sphere with the news that he will be voicing Spider-Punk in the upcoming sequel to Into the Spider-Verse.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is in cinemas this Friday.