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22nd Jul 2021

Black Panther sequel casts Michaela Coel

Kieran Galpin

Black Panther

British acting powerhouse joins huge Marvel picture

Variety has confirmed that British actress Michaela Coel will be joining the cast of Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever. Black Panther grossed a monumental $1.3 billion worldwide box office, but its magic was not in the numbers but in the message it produced.

The film recieved critical acclaim for its depiction of the African culture, the African-American experience, and its incredible choice in the cast. As white people, we see ourselves in almost every facet of media, but this is certainly not the case for those of other races. What few central Black characters there were, were usually reduced to harmful stereotypes or being the token diversity casting. But Black Panther changed that, putting Black excellence front and centre.

“Wakanda Forever” became a show of pride for Black youth who finally saw themselves reflected in one of the biggest franchises in the world.

Michaela Coel rose to critical acclaim for her show “I may destroy you”, which aired last year on the BBC. It followed Coel’s character, Arabella, a writer who had to navigate rape trauma and her place in the story as a Black woman. The harrowing storyline, which was based on her own experiences, received widespread praise, with many calling it the best drama of the year.

Coel will be joining franchise regulars Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, and Angela Bassett as they navigate the Black Panther universe without its lead, Chadwick Boseman. Boseman’s iconic performance made him one of the most beloved characters but also the most inspirational for black youth. His sudden and saddening passing left a gap in the hearts of his fans and the franchise for which he played the titular role.

Though rumours spiralled about how the franchise would continue, nothing has yet been set in stone. Many believe Letitia Wright’s character of Shuri will take up the mantle of the Black Panther just like she does in the comics.

Regardless of Marvel’s decision on moving forward, Coel’s addition to the cast is an exciting and alluring one. Rumours around who Coel will be playing are already running rampant, with some suggesting she could play the mutant Storm, played by Halle Berry in the original X-Men series.