Since Black Panther‘s immense success in 2018, fans have been eagerly awaiting a sequel to Marvel’s first-ever Black superhero movie. But in the summer of 2020, that anticipation turned into heartbreak when the news broke the film’s lead actor, Chadwick Boseman, had passed away after a private battle with cancer. The shocking loss was felt by millions around the world, including fans who saw Boseman as the real-life superhero young non-white children so sorely needed.
Prior to Boseman’s death, the Black Panther sequel had already been announced in 2019 and months after his passing, Marvel confirmed the project would go ahead in a way that honoured Boseman’s legacy. His character, T’Challa, would not be replaced and the film would instead “explore the world of Wakanda and the rich characters introduced in the first film.”
It’s expected that most of the cast from the original movie will return for the second instalment, named Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, alongside a slew of new faces. One of whom has been confirmed as being none other than beloved British actor, producer and director, Michaela Coel.
The I May Destroy You creator and star has joined the cast of the sequel and has already relocated to Atlanta for production, Variety reports. Exactly what role Coel will play is still under wraps, but here’s hoping it’s big (and that she has many, many superpowers).
The role won’t be Coel’s first foray into a major Disney-owned production. Similar to Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Coel had a minor role in Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi as an unnamed Resistance monitor who, by her account, says “like literally three words”.
Of course, since then Coel has blown up thanks to her groundbreaking show, I May Destroy You. After notably being left off the Golden Globes nominations list—an oversight that caused an uproar resulting in an investigation into the institution’s ethics—she cleaned up at the BAFTAs in June, winning both best actress and best mini-series.
It’s likely Coel will be joined on screen in Black Panther 2 by Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda, Winston Duke as M’Baku, and Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi, as well as Martin Freeman as CIA agent Everett K. Ross.
Black Panther 2 is expected to hit cinemas in the US on July 8, 2022, two months after its original planned release date of May 6.