Samuel L. Jackson has said he wanted to be in Black Panther, but producers wouldn’t let him.
The hit Marvel movie starred Chadwick Boseman as King T’Challa of Wakanda. He was joined in the film by co-stars Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, and more.
Appearing on The Ellen Show, Jackson told host Ellen DeGeneres he had asked repeatedly to be involved. “It’s a great movie, but I couldn’t believe that you weren’t in it,” she told him. The actor replied: “I couldn’t either! When they were making it, I kept saying, ‘So when do I go to Wakanda?’ And they were… [shakes head].”
Jackson continued to say he had wanted to his Marvel character Nick Fury to make an appearance, even if it had been an inconsequential cameo. He said he asked the producers: “‘Can I just walk down the street in Wakanda so they know that I know it’s there?’ Because I know it’s there. I mean, Nick Fury knows every black thing that’s on the planet, so he’s gotta know about Wakanda.”
Despite producers’ resistance to the idea, the Hollywood icon is not giving up hope for a part in the sequel. “I wish I had been there, but I’m really, really, really pleased with the success of the film and how it worked out,” he said. “And eventually I may end up in Wakanda.”
Meanwhile, another famous face is also vying for a spot in Black Panther 2. Kendrick Lamar spoke earlier this year about his desire to appear in the follow-up movie.
The rapper executive produced the soundtrack for the first movie and told BBC Radio 1Xtra that he would like to succeed that with an on-screen appearance. He told the station he would like to play a “loved and misunderstood” role, much like Jordan’s character of Eric Killmonger.