Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Concept Art Reveals Daniel Kaluuya's Deleted Role

"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" shouldered a heavy burden in the wake of Chadwick Boseman's tragic passing, and while the movie emerged triumphant, the film we got is obviously very different than the one Ryan Coogler initially intended to make. Of course, the script had to be changed drastically in order to forge ahead without its utterly irreplaceable star, and production was understandably delayed as a result. The film lovingly pays tribute to Boseman, and while his loss is certainly felt, this movie is full of incredible performances, as well as a particularly exciting cameo. There was clearly hope that he would appear, but another face that was notably absent from the movie is Daniel Kaluuya's W'Kabi. Okoye's (Danai Gurira) husband, T'Challa's close friend, and the former head of security for Wakanda's Border Tribe, W'Kabi betrayed his loved ones in the first film by supporting Killmonger's (Michael B. Jordan) bid for the throne.

It was announced a while back that the actor would not be reprising his role in the "Black Panther" sequel due to scheduling conflicts with "Nope," and his absence was briefly touched on in "Wakanda Forever" with Ramonda (Angela Bassett) explaining that he is in exile, but remains alive. W'Kabi may not have shown up in the movie, but now fans can get a better idea of what he would've looked like had he returned thanks to character designs from Marvel concept artist Niek Schlosser.

What would W'Kabi have looked like?

Niek Schlosser posted images of W'Kabi's redesigned costume made for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" on Instagram. The artist acknowledges that the new outfit didn't make it into the movie, but also adds that "Nope" was a great film — which is true! These images show a sleek look that certainly makes it seem like the character would be once again reporting for duty in some capacity, though who knows what side of the conflict he'd be on. 

It's unclear what his role would've been, but it's difficult to imagine his former allies being able to trust him again. Still, the sequel saw them in some pretty dire straights, so they may have just been desperate enough to do so.

A third "Black Panther" film has yet to be officially announced, but now that someone new has taken up the hero's mantle, it wouldn't be too surprising. The sequel was a huge success and Marvel does love to do things in threes. Perhaps Kaluuya could reprise the role of W'Kabi in that film or even pop up in the upcoming Disney+ series that will focus on Okoye. Of course, it's also possible that the actor's dance card is full and he won't return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe at all. Ultimately, an appearance from Kaluuya could only make a project better, so fingers crossed that W'Kabi will one day return.