Winston Duke has confirmed that M’Baku will return in the highly anticipated sequel to 2018’s Black Panther. While many fans suspected the leader of the Jabari tribe would be back in the new movie, Duke recently went on the record to make it official. In an interview with Collider promoting the indie drama Nine Days, Duke discussed his preparation for the “emotional” sequel.

Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is currently filming in Atlanta. Following the passing of original Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, the production has taken on a melancholy tone. “It was very emotional to read the script. It was emotional to pack to go back to set,” said Duke. “But we’re all a bit of a family now and we grieve together, and we’re making something really special.”

We still don't know much about the plot details of Black Panther 2, but Marvel head Kevin Feige did share that the main cast members from the first film would be coming back. This includes Lupita Nyong’o and Martin Freeman, both of whom confirmed their involvement a while ago. Angela Bassett and Danai Gurira are also returning to their roles. Perhaps this means that Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya and Florence Kasumba will be in the film as well — although we’ve yet to get confirmation.

The absence of Boseman in the sequel undoubtedly provides a unique challenge for Coogler, who has reworked the script to focus on other heroes of Wakanda. Marvel Studios has been clear that they have no plans to recreate Boseman’s likeness through the use of CGI, or to recast his part, out of respect for the late actor.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever arrives in theaters on July 8, 2022.

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