Movie Content Plus Video Black Panther 2: Lupita Nyong’o Says Speaking Spanish in Sequel Was a Gift

Black Panther 2: Lupita Nyong’o Says Speaking Spanish in Sequel Was a Gift

The Black Panther legacy goes far beyond screens. As well as producing a superhero that is sure to be admired for generations to come, it made waves as the first mainstream superhero film to spotlight both a Black hero and a reel of strong Black women. It also seamlessly integrated African culture into the finest details of the screenplay – something which has pretty much never been seen in the superhero realm. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has kicked this up a notch. Not only does it do what its predecessor did so effortlessly, but it also makes space to spotlight Mesoamerican culture. This inclusion is built into the story of mutant superhuman Namor (Tenoch Huerta Mejía), the ruler of the thriving – and very powerful – underwater kingdom Talokan, which heavily pulls influence from indigenous Mayan culture.

The decision to broaden cultural influence allowed room for Lupita Nyong’o to integrate Spanish into her role, more specifically, when her character Nakia goes digging for information on Namor and his underwater empire. Nyong’o, who was born in Mexico City to Kenyan parents, hailed the opportunity as a "gift" during an interview for Entertainment Weekly’s Around The Table series. "I was so excited about it," she said. "It was just a straight gift. And I was very, very happy to do it… I’ve always wanted to work in Spanish and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that that opportunity would come in Black Panther." On a personal note, Nyong’o explained that the film "represents different sides of my heritage." "Being born in Mexico and having that Mesoamerican culture represented, it’s something that’s very close to me," she added.

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