Lupita Nyong’o is opening up about filming Black Panther 2 without Chadwick Boseman.

During a recent interview with Yahoo! Entertainment while promoting her new YouTube Original animated series Super Sema, the 38-year-old actress fielded questions about the future of Marvel’s Black Panther franchise following Boseman’s death last August following his very private, four-year battle with colon cancer.

“People will ask me, ‘Are you excited to go back?’ Excitement isn’t the word,” Nyong’o said. “I feel like I’m in a very pensive and meditative state when it comes to Black Panther 2. [Chadwick’s] passing is still extremely raw for me. And I can’t even begin to imagine what it will be like to step on set and not have him there.”

The sequel is set to start filming in Atlanta this summer and is currently slated for a July 2022 release. Ryan Coogler, who helmed the first movie, is returning as director and screenwriter for the sequel and Nyong’o says he has been pivotal in honoring Boseman’s legacy.

“At the same time we have a leader in Ryan, who feels very much like we do, who feels the loss in a very, very real way as well,” Nyong’o explained. “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. And hopefully, what I do look forward to, is 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.”

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