Black Panther 2, AKA Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, has a new cast member: Michaela Coel, the creator and star of acclaimed series I May Destroy You, has joined the Ryan Coogler-directed sequel.
Like a lot of info surrounding the film, details about Coel’s character are non-existent and secretive at the moment. But Coel is reportedly already on set at Atlanta’s Pinewood Studios. I mean in general, she might not be on set at this exact second. I don’t have that kind of info on me, folks.
Variety has the scoop that Michaela Coel has joined the Black Panther 2 cast. We have no idea who she’s playing just yet, so feel free to speculate wildly!
Coel is a multi-hyphenate actress, screenwriter, director, producer, and singer who has had roles on shows like Black Mirror and in movies like Star Wars: The Last Jedi. But it was Coel’s recent, highly-acclaimed HBO series I May Destroy You that increased her star power. Now here she is joining a huge Marvel sequel. Pretty impressive.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the sequel to the massively successful 2018 Marvel movie Black Panther. Ryan Coogler is back in the director’s chair and he co-wrote the script with Joe Robert Cole.
The film is highly anticipated, like most Marvel flicks, but it’s also bound to be a bittersweet experience. The star of the original film, Chadwick Boseman, died unexpectedly in 2020. After Boseman’s death, speculation began as to how the sequel would carry on. Would the character of T’Challa / Black Panther be recast? Would Marvel employ ghoulish VFX to digitally re-create Boseman?
The answer to both questions ended up being “no.” Marvel vowed not to recast or bring Boseman back digitally. Of course, that still leaves questions unanswered. The general assumption is that the sequel will promote T’Challa’s sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) into a more prominent role, but none of that has been confirmed yet.
“You’ve Got to Keep Going”
Black Panther was such a huge deal, and Boseman’s performance was such a big part of that big deal, that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has a steep cliff to climb. Coogler is aware of this and determined to make the best possible sequel that will honor Boseman’s legacy. “You’ve got to keep going when you lose loved ones,” Coogler said in an interview.
“I know Chad wouldn’t have wanted us to stop. He was somebody who was so about the collective. Black Panther, that was his movie. He was hired to play that role before anybody else was even thought of, before I was hired, before any of the actresses were hired. On that set, he was all about everybody else. Even though he was going through what he was going through, he was checking in on them, making sure they were good. If we cut his coverage, he would stick around and read lines off-camera [to help other actors with their performances]. So it would be harder for me to stop. Truthfully. I’d feel him yelling at me, like, ‘What are you doing?’ So you keep going.”
In addition to Michaela Coel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever stars Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, and Angela Bassett. Look for it in theaters on July 8, 2022.
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