Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has added another star to its growing cast. Variety exclusively reported that multihyphenate talent Michaela Coel has joined the cast of the sequel film. Sources informed the entertainment news outlet the I May Destroy You actress has teamed up with director Ryan Coogler at Atlanta’s Pinewood Studios.
As VIBE previously reported, production for the Black Panther sequel began this summer in the Georgia capital. The film will be recorded without its lead Chadwick Boseman who starred as the titular character. The acclaimed actor died in August 2020 at the age of 43 after a private battle with colon cancer.
“It’s clearly very emotional without Chad,” said Marvel Studios Chief Kevin Feige. “But everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans. We’re going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud.”
Despite not having Boseman portray T’Challa, the talented members of the cast and crew behind Black Panther: Wakanda Forever have shared their varied emotions on bringing the film to life. Lupita Nyong’o has revealed more on returning to set to begin working on the highly anticipated movie. She plays Nakia, the outspoken, highly skilled spy and love interest to Boseman’s T’Challa. The actress revealed Coogler changed the initial plans for the film after Boseman’s death.
“People will ask me, ‘Are you excited to go back?’ Excitement isn’t the word. I feel like I’m in a very pensive and meditative state when it comes to Black Panther 2. His passing is still extremely raw for me,” she said to Yahoo Entertainment during an April interview. “And I can’t even begin to imagine what it will be like to step on set and not have him there.
She continued, “But at the same time we have a leader in Ryan, who feels very much like we do, who feels the loss in a very, very real way as well. And his idea, the way which he has reshaped the second movie is so respectful of the loss we’ve all experienced as a cast and as a world. So it feels spiritually and emotionally correct to do this. And hopefully, what I do look forward to, is getting back together and honoring what he started with us and holding his light through it. Because he left us a lot of light that we’re still going to be bathing in. I know that for sure.”
Winston Duke, who played M’Baku, leader of the Jabari Tribe shared he would also be reprising his role for the Black Panther sequel and expressed heavy feelings returning to set and reading the new script.
“It was very emotional to read the script. It was emotional to pack to go back to set. But we’re all a bit of a family now and we grieve together, and we’re making something really special,” the actor shared with Collider.
Danai Gurira will also reportedly return as Okoye in both Black Panther: Wakanda Forever as well as a spinoff series created for Disney +. Letitia Wright and Daniel Kaluuya are also said to reprise their roles in the sequel.
The Black Panther sequel is set to be released on July 8, 2022.