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Nerdist Special Reports

Lupita Nyong’o is Ready to “Kick Some Butt” in BLACK PANTHER

This weekend, Lupita Nyong’o stars in The Queen of Katwe, director Mira Nair’s inspirational drama about Phiona Mutesi, the real-life Ugandan chess prodigy who became a Woman Candidate Master after her performances at World Chess Olympiads. It’s a heartwarming, spirited film that lets Nyong’o flex her acting chops as Nakku Harriet, Phiona’s hardworking mother, and is well worth seeing on the big screen. Yet when I sat down to interview Nyong’o about her latest film at the Toronto International Film Festival, I couldn’t help but ask about one of her most anticipated future projects: Marvel’s Black Panther.

It was announced at this summer’s San Diego Comic-Con that Nyong’o would be joining the star-studded cast of Black Panther as Nakia, a member of the Dora Milaje, the elite Wakandan female bodyguards who serve and protect Black Panther. Nyong’o told me that she was “stoked” to be joining the project and was particularly looking forward to being able to “kick some butt,” which sounds like an inevitability given her character. Moreover, Nyong’o seemed elated to be joining the murderer’s row of talent that Marvel has assembled, including Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira (in whose play Nyong’o just starred), and director Ryan Coogler. Filming doesn’t begin until January 2017, so Nyong’o will have plenty of time to limber up before laying a beatdown on any and all who try to come at the ruler of Wakanda.

The Queen of Katwe is in theaters now.

What do you hope to see from Black Panther? What do you think Nakia’s role will be like? Let us know in the comments below.

Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of books about Star Wars and the Avengers. Follow him on Twitter (@Osteoferocious).

For our complete Toronto International Film Festival coverage, click here.

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