Michaela Coel – writer, director, producer, and star of the hit HBO Max drama I May Destroy You – is reportedly joining the cast of Black Panther 2.
Michaela Coel has been cast in an undisclosed role in Marvel’s highly anticipated, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The film will serve as a follow-up to the first Black Panther film, which was met with resounding praise from fans and critics alike for its representation of the African diaspora and culture. Wakanda Forever is currently in production, with director Ryan Coogler returning alongside most of the core cast from the first film; that is, apart from the Black Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman, who tragically passed away last year.
Thanks to the massive success of the first film, the mantle of the Black Panther (along with all the imagery associated with the kingdom of Wakanda) has ingrained itself into popular consciousness. The iconic crossed-arm Wakandan salute has become ubiquitous, with fans emulating the gesture as a sign of their love for both the film as well what the gesture represents for Black and diasporic African communities. T’Challa himself became synonymous with Chadwick Boseman, whose unexpected passing left fans devastated and understandably led to eleventh-hour rewrites of the film’s script – even well into principal photography. Despite these challenges, news about the film is beginning to pick up momentum as production on Wakanda Forever steadily marches onward.
This week, Variety reports that actress Michaela Coel has been cast in the Black Panther sequel. Coel reportedly “joined director Ryan Coogler at Atlanta’s Pinewood Studios, where production began last month.” Coel’s role remains undisclosed at the time of writing.
Coel made her biggest splash with her breakout HBO Max drama series, I May Destroy You. On top of acting in the lead role, Coel was also responsible for personally writing, directing and producing as well. I May Destroy You has evidently been a hit amongst critics, with Coel receiving four Primetime Emmy nominations for her work on the series. Eagle-eyed blockbuster film fans may recognize her from her brief role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi as an unnamed Resistance officer.
Although Coel’s role is still unannounced, her involvement in Wakanda Forever presents exciting possibilities for the film. Her devastating yet nuanced performance as Arabella in I May Destroy You shows how much emotional weight she can bring to the table – something Wakanda Forever will be full of, according to Marvel head Kevin Feige, who called the film “extremely emotional.” With almost exactly a year left until the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, fans will have to wait a while longer before they find out who Coel will play.
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