Culture

Ryan Coogler, ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Cast Honor Chadwick Boseman At Premiere

The cast and crew of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever honored Chadwick Boseman during the film’s world premiere on the purple carpet.

The cast and crew of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever celebrated the life of Chadwick Boseman during the world premiere at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. On Wednesday night (October 26), some of the Wakanda Forever team — which included director Ryan Coogler along with the film’s stars Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Lupita N’yongo, Winston Duke, Danai Gurira, Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, and Tenoch Huerta — honored the late Boseman with their outfits.

Wearing all-white with his wife Zinzi Evans, Coogler also donned a black and gold dog tag-shaped pendent necklace in remembrance of Boseman.

“It was a necklace that I had made while we were getting ready to start filming because I wanted to keep him close to me,” Coogler told Good Morning America on the purple carpet.

Paying tribute to Boseman’s look at the 90th Academy Awards was Wright, who portrays Shuri in Wakanda Forever. At the world premiere, the actress spoke about filming the sequel without Boseman’s physical presence.

“I’m bracing,” Wright told Variety. “I’ve seen some member’s of Chad’s team. When we lock eyes, we know how this feels. We have to take a step away. I see my aunt locking my eyes with me, she’s very proud. I have to take a step away…It’s emotional. We’re trying to hold it together.”

Echoing Wright was Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, who attended the world premiere in a signature baseball cap.

“I got to have him in my life for the short time that I did,” Feige shared about Boseman. “More importantly, he did it at such a young age, such a body of work, that it will last forever. Generation after generation after generation will get to feel his presence.”

Also wearing white was N’yongo, who plays Nakia, formerly the romantic interest of King T’Challa in Black Panther. While speaking with Access Hollywood, the actress reflected on Boseman’s life.

“You know since he passed, as much as I’ve worked at saying goodbye, I’ve never let him go. So I feel like for me, I came with him to that set and I left with him,” she said.

Making her Marvel debut was Rihanna, attending the Wakanda Forever premiere with her partner, A$AP Rocky. The singer, whose Boseman tribute song “Lift Me Up” will release on Friday (October 28), embraced Boseman’s wife Taylor Simone Ledward on the purple carpet.

Tems, who co-wrote “Lift Me Up” with Rihanna, Coogler, and producer Ludwig Göransson, spoke about the song’s intention in a press statement.

“After speaking with Ryan and hearing his direction for the film and the song, I wanted to write something that portrays a warm embrace from all the people that I’ve lost in my life. I tried to imagine what it would feel like if I could sing to them now and express how much I miss them,” Tems said. “Rihanna has been an inspiration to me so hearing her convey this song is a great honor.”

 

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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