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Black Panther actor Lupita Nyong’o has exited John Woo’s remake of his own 1989 film The Killer, according to the director himself who broke the news at the Hawaii International Film Festival (via Deadline).
Nyong’o was attached to star in the film, which originally featured Chow Yun-Fat in the title role of a hitman trying to leave behind his life of violence – however Woo says scheduling conflicts forced Nyong’o to drop the remake when script rewrites took too long.
“There was a scheduling problem because she’s so popular right now!” Woo explained. “We rewrote the script and it took so much time…she had to leave for another project.”
It’s unclear which project Nyong’o may have departed the film for. She’s expected to reprise her role as Nakia for Black Panther 2, which is scheduled for a May 6, 2022 theatrical release.
Woo hasn’t cast a replacement for Nyong’o yet, however the director says he’ll definitely hire a woman to take the role.
“The biggest reason why I wanted to do this movie again because [I wanted] ‘the killer’ to be a woman – that’s exciting to me,” said Woo. “It will make the movie have a different look.”
No projected release date for The Killer has been announced.