“Our call sheets didn’t have a number one, that was reserved for Chadwick,” Lupita Nyong’o said in a recent MTV News interview. “He was with us.”
Nyong’o reprised her role as Nakia in the highly anticipated Black Panther (2018) sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022). She is joined on screen by Letitia Wright (Shuri), Angela Basset (Ramonda), Danai Gurira (Okoye), and Winston Duke (M’Baku). Missing from the lineup is the Black Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman’s King T’Challa, who passed away in August of 2020 after secretly battling colon cancer for years.
His loss was a profound one, causing several stars of the franchise to reject the idea of a sequel. Eventually, the original cast came back together to create Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, a sort of love letter to the late actor. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Nyong’o talked about the cathartic filming experience.
“To make this film against all odds is a powerful statement unto itself, and I am very proud that we did it,” Nyong’o said. “It was very therapeutic.”
The trailer, which debuted recently at San Diego Comic-Con, revealed that Boseman’s character had suffered a similar fate to the actor. The fans were not as receptive to the direction of the film, claiming that the history of T’Challa is far richer than his one appearance in a Phase 4 Marvel Film. Many fans even called for a recast.
Still, the cast and crew pressed on and found meaningful ways to honor and incorporate Boseman in all aspects of the film’s creative process, like reserving Boseman’s place at the top of the set’s call sheet.
A call sheet is the set’s daily filming and generally lists the lead actor at the top of the list. TikTok user Danielle Silverstone explained the significance of holding Boseman’s place at the top of the sheet in the following post:
#stitch with @mtvnews incredible #mcu #marvel #blackpanther #wakandaforever #acting #actor #writer #director #phasefour #blackpantherwakandaforever
In the video, Danielle stitched Lupita’s interview with MTV News, using her portion to explain the hierarchy of the scheduling tool.
“On a call sheet, the number one is the lead actor. They’re the ones whose call time gets put first, all of their information is first, their hair and make-up are first, [the sheet lists] when they need to be places and where they need to be. The call sheet would start at number 2, there would always be a blank spot.”
“It’s not just Wakanda Forever,” Silverstone added. “It’s Chadwick Boseman Forever”.
More on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022):
The original description of Marvel Cinematic Universes’ latest Black Panther project directed by Ryan Coogler reads:
Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba), fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda.
Do you think the cast honored Boseman properly in the filming process? Tell us in the comments below.