The Sunday News
Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday Life Reporter
ZIMBABWEAN actress Danai Gurira broke down on the red-carpet last week, as she narrated how cast members of the blockbuster Black Panther franchise dealt with the death of leading man, Chadwick Boseman while they were filming the second installment of the comic book-based movie series.
Black Panther 2 will mark the return of the franchise after the death of Boseman in 2020. Chadwick died at 43 years old of colon cancer, leaving his fans across the world in shock and grief, and the future of his Black Panther series uncertain.
The first Black Panther movie was a runaway hit, making over $1,3 billion worldwide, with the success of the movie credited to Bosman for his stunning display as the titular character. The movie also gave Gurira a breakout role in the big screen.
During a promotional interview last week, an emotional Gurira said that they found themselves overcome with grief during the most inopportune moments while filming the movie.
“We didn’t know when and how it was going to hit us, it hit us in various ways and at various moments. Sometimes just walking onto the stage and hearing Ryan [Coogler] talk before that, we were getting hit, like, watching it, and there are various moments where you’re just being hit by that,” Gurira said.
“It was beautifully said by Dominique [Thorne] and by Michaela [Coel] that they really were supportive of us. There was a really hard day that I had on set, and she was there for me.”
Gurira also gave credit to the movie’s new cast of characters for fostering a family atmosphere that allowed them to overcome the loss of Boseman.
“You just never knew when it was going to be a really hard day, and so they were really amazing, our new family. They understood they were in a place where grief was happening, and they really held us up. We got a great new family,” she said.
Speaking on the Black Panther sequel, Gurira said the new movie would tell in better detail the story of the Dora Milaje, an elite group of warriors who serve as the all-female special forces for the nation of Wakanda.
“It is really exciting because on the first one, we were like introduced and it were like we have never seen anything like this. It was the introduction of this women’s army and the woman general who is the right arm of the king. That was all new and we went on a journey in that movie but I think on the next one, what we should get is how to do, you now get into this world and the specificity of that role.
I think that’s what’s so rich about what Ryan does and what we get to do with this next film is very important. That first one, in all its glory, gets expanded and the characters take journeys because that really does solidify the representation. It’s not a one off and we have to see these characters go through stuff. We get to see them have falls and valleys so that we get to see the complex humanity that’s so rarely seen. So, that is the journey that’s so richly explored in this number two and that’s what gets me excited about bringing it,” she said.