“It’s amazing what this film has been able to do.”
“Black Panther” is on track to becoming a certifiable hit. The movie was released on Feb. 16 and nine days later it is expected to earn more than $500 million in box office sales. This total has put it above “Spider Man” and it is coming for “Wonder Woman.” Lupita Nyong’o, one of the main actors in the film, is proud of what the film has been able to achieve for black people around the world. Nyong’o sat down with Trevor Noah to talk about the enormously positive impact “Black Panther” and the ideal of Wakanda have had on people of color.
“We could not have predicted this, you know? Not only is the box office quite handsome but the effect it’s having on the world,” Nyong’o told Noah. “For the first time, I have seen people paying for other people to go see the movie and things like that. It’s become this community effort and that is incredible. From the very start when Ryan [Coogler] walked me through the story I was just like, ‘Oh my goodness. This is something that I want to see. This is a dream come true.’ We get to have a superhero that’s African and he’s fly, he’s badass, he’s intelligent, he’s got women all around him that are also badass.”
Nyong’o is also very proud of the effect the movie and the hairstyling has had on black girls and women. Nowhere in the film do you see women with their hair straightened. Every woman is wearing her hair naturally and Nyong’o told Noah that the simple gesture of having natural hair elevates it. It paints a better picture of what it is to be black and free from European standards of beauty.
The Marvel highlight reel for future movies dropped on Monday. The three-minute video gave Marvel fans a peak into what is to come in the near future. One of the most highly-anticipated Marvel movies on the horizon is Black Panther 2. But fans know that installment is sure to be drastically different after the passing of Chadwick Boseman.
Ryan Coogler, the director of “Black Panther“, has already stated that Marvel has no intentions of recasting the role of T’Challa. However, Lupita Nyong’o–who played Nakia in the first installment–will be reprising her original role.
Recently, Afro-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong’o revealed in an interview that she is not excited to return to the world of Wakanda without Chadwick Boseman.
In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Nyong’o explained her complicated feelings about Black Panther‘s second installment, which will be called “World of Wakanda”.
“People will ask me, ‘Are you excited to go back?’ Excitement isn’t the word,” she explained. “I feel like I’m in a very pensive and meditative state when it comes to Black Panther 2. His passing is still extremely raw for me.” According to Yahoo Entertainment, Nyong’o’s voice became audibly emotional. “And I can’t even begin to imagine what it will be like to step on set and not have him there.”
Lupita Nyong’o went on to say that “World of Wakanda” will be a sort of tribute to the “light” of Chadwick Boseman.
“We have a leader in [director Ryan Coogler], who feels very much like we do, who feels the loss in a very, very real way as well. And his idea, the way which he has reshaped the second movie is so respectful of the loss we’ve all experienced as a cast and as a world. So it feels spiritually and emotionally correct to do this,” she said.
Nyong’o went on to say that she looks forward to “getting back together and honoring what he started with us and holding his light through it. Because he left us a lot of light that we’re still going to be bathing in. I know that for sure.”
When Chadwick Boseman passed away in August of last year, Nyong’o wrote a touching and heartfelt tribute to the late actor on her Instagram page.
“When we came together to make Black Panther, I remember being struck by his quiet, powerful presence,” she wrote. “He had no airs about him, but there was a higher frequency that he seemed to operate from. You got the sense that he was fully present and also somehow fully aware of things in the distant future. As a result, I noticed that Chadwick never seemed rushed! He commanded his time with ease.”
She continued, saying that Boseman was “absorbent. Agile. He set the bar high by working with a generosity of spirit, creating an ego-free environment by sheer example, and he always had a warm gaze and a strong embrace to share.”
As of now, Black Panther 2, which will be called “Wakanda Forever”, is set to be released in July of 2022.
Credit: felineastronaut/Twiiter; theguyinthechair18/Instagram; Star Wars/Twitter
Recently, news broke that beloved Mexican-American director Robert Rodriguez is set to executive producer Disney+’s new Star Wars series, The Book of Boba Fett. This news broke at the same event that Disney announced that Rosario Dawson will be getting her own Star Wars series on Disney+, a Mandalorian spinoff entitled Ahsoka.
Pair these events with Pedro Pascal headlining The Mandalorian, and it appears that Disney is making some real and concerted effort to hire Latino talent.
And the pattern didn’t just start this year. Since the franchise’s reboot in 2015, Disney has consistently hired Latinos to take part in Star Wars Universe in front of and behind the camera.
In light of this, we’ve compiled a definitive list of all of the Latinos that have been involved in the Star Wars Universe. Take a look below!
1. Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron
Guatemalan-American actor Oscar Isaac was one of the first Latinos to set off Disney’s streak of hiring Latino talent for the Star Wars franchise. Isaac (nee Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada) played Poe Dameron, a fighter pilot who rose in the ranks to become General of the Resistance. He appeared in all three movies of the Star Wars reboot trilogy: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker.
2. Pedro Pascal as Mando
Chilean-American actor Pedro Pascal plays the titular character in The Mandalorian (his true name is a spoiler), a solitary bounty hunter who travels to the “outer reaches” of the galaxy in order to protect Baby Yoda.
3. Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano
This season, Rosario Dawson played Ahsoka Tano in The Mandolorian–an alien of the Togruta race who is also a Jedi knight and army commander. It was also recently announced that the actress of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent would be headlining a spinoff series on Disney+ entitled Ahsoka.
4. Diego Luna as Cassian Andor
Mexican actor Diego Luna played Rebel Alliance soldier Cassian Andor in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Luna will also star in his own standalone series revolving around Cassian Andor on Disney+ called Andor.
5. Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata
Mexican-born actress Lupita Nyong’o played alien pirate queen Maz Kanata via motion capture in all three of the Star Wars reboot trilogy: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker.
6. Benicio Del Toro as DJ
Boricua actor Benicio Del Toro played the villainous hacker DJ in The Last Jedi.
7. Jimmy Smits as Senator Bail Organa
Brooklyn-born Boricua actor Jimmy Smits played Bail Organa in two of the Star Wars prequel movies, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith as well as reprising his role in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
8. Horatio Sanz as Mythrol
Although you might not recognize him through such heavy character makeup, Chilean-America comedian Horatio Sanz played Mythrol, a wanted fugitive that was carbon-frozen by Pascal’s character in the first episode of The Mandolorian.
9. John Leguizamo as Gor Koresh
Again, you’d be hard-pressed to recognize John Leguizamo amidst all the heavy alien makeup, but the Colombian-American actor played the character Gor Koresh in The Mandolorian–boastful forager of the Abyssin alien race.
10. Robert Rodriguez
As we reported above, Robert Rodriguez is a legendary Mexican-American director who helmed a popular episode of The Mandolorian entitled “The Tragedy”. He is now set to executive produce a new Disney+ Star Wars series called The Book of Boba Fett.
11. Adria Arjona
Puerto Rican actress Adria Arjona has not officially appeared in any Star Wars properties yet, but it was recently announced that she will be appearing in Diego Luna’s Star Wars spinoff series Andor as a yet-to-be-named character.
12. Pablo Hidalgo
Pablo Hidalgo is the definition of behind-the-scenes talent. The Chilean-Canadian LucasFilm creative executive is in charge of keeping narrative and creative cohesion between all of the stories within the Star Wars Universe. In essence, he is the definitive Star Wars expert.