Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is in the midst of filming, with Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke and Angela Bassett among the cast of the Marvel sequel. It’s tough to tell how the storyline will unfold without Chadwick Boseman following his tragic death last year, but the movie is continuing to include more incredible talent, as most recently noted with the addition of its first new actress, Michaela Coel.
Michaela Coel has turned heads as of late following the release of her powerful HBO series, I May Destroy You, which she wrote, directed, produced and starred in. We naturally don’t know yet how Coel will fit into her Marvel debut, but the Variety report brings an exciting new addition to the Black Panther sequel. She's the second newcomer to be brought aboard for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, with Narcos: Mexico star Tenoch Huerta having also reportedly joined the cast.
The British actress and multi-hyphenate is 33 years old and was most recently nominated for four Emmys for her work on I May Destroy You. The series comprised of 12 gripping episodes tells the story of a woman in her late ‘20s struggling to rebuild her life after being raped. The HBO series most certainly must have inspired Ryan Coogler and the Marvel filmmakers to bring her aboard one of the studio’s most beloved properties.
Michaela Coel was also the star of the comedy series Chewing Gum, aboard the USS Callister for that Black Mirror episode, a lead in Netflix’s Black Earth Rising and even found a small role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Her latest project that will take her to the home of T’Challa is sure to be her most high-profile role yet.
Marvel fans have instantly flocked to rumoring Michaela Coel for X-Men’s Storm following previous rumors that fellow mutant Namor the Sub-Mariner may be introduced in Black Panther 2. We know that the mutants are set to be introduced in the next few years in the MCU following Disney’s Fox merger, and Storm does have a history with Wakanda in the comics.
In the Marvel Comics universe, Ororo and T’Challa meet as children when she fled Cairo after her parents’ deaths. T’Challa and Storm later get married in front of the X-Men and Avengers during a peaceful ceremony until the Avengers vs. X-Men event pulled them apart six years later. Now that’s unlikely to happen in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but Storm and the Wakandan kingdom do have ties to be aware of.
Michaela Coel could be behind a completely different character we have yet to connect to the movie to, so we’ll just have to wait to find out about how she's involved. Following the passing of the franchise’s Black Panther, we’re certainly curious how Marvel and Ryan Coogler have changed up the sequel.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to be released on July 8, 2022 alongside Marvel’s major lineup of other upcoming movies.