Lupita Nyong’o is on a roll. She’s already part of one major franchise, ‘Star Wars’ and now she’s jumping into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as part of the all-star cast of ‘Black Panther’. Her character, Nakia is described as a “Wakandan spy pulled from her mission abroad by her former flame T’Challa.”
Nyong’o expanded a bit on that, saying:
“I can say that Nakia, when we meet her, is a war dog which means she’s one of Wakanda’s CIA agents. Her job is to spy around the world and report back to Wakanda to keep Wakanda safe and keep Wakanda informed.
“[She] consistently gets involved in conflict for the good of others, adamant to use her abilities to help those in need, [and she] puts her skills of subterfuge and hand-to-hand combat to use in order to fight alongside Black Panther.”
In the comics, Nakia’s journey takes a dark twist, as she becomes so obsessed with T’Challa and tries to kill one of his girlfriends and eventually becomes the full-blown villain Malice. But it doesn’t sound as if the movie will follow that. The film is packed with several powerful female characters, including Angela Bassett who plays T’Challa’s mother Ramonda plus Danai Gurira as fellow warrior Okoye and Letitia Wright as Shuri, T’Challa’s sister and a fierce combatant in her own right. Don’t expect to see these ladies competing for attention though.
As Nyong’o says:
“[Director Ryan Coogler] made a point of avoiding the expected female-rival narrative. In this genre, where spandex is involved, oftentimes the women are pitted against each other. In our story, there are so many different women holding their own space. Women may be in competition with each other, sure, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s an absence of love or respect. Making this film awakened me.”
Hopes are high for this film. It had the fastest-selling tickets of any Marvel movie so far and Fandango listed it as the second-most anticipated movie of the year, behind ‘Avengers: Infinity War’.
Ryan Coogler directed ‘Black Panther’ and co-wrote it with Joe Robert Cole. The film stars Chadwick Boseman, Angela Bassett, Winston Duke, Martin Freeman, Danai Gurira, Michael B. Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Forest Whitaker and Letitia Wright. It opens in theaters on February 16.