CULTURE

Michaela Coel Joins the Cast of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Michaela Coel
Photographed by Tim Walker; styled by Sam Walker. Loro Piana turtleneck; Givenchy skirt and hat. Hair by Cyndia Harvey at Art Partner; makeup by Sam Bryant at Bryant Artists.

On Wednesday night, the seemingly countless fans that Michaela Coel cultivated with I May Destroy You, the hit HBO series she starred in, wrote, directed, and produced, suddenly received the very best of news. Coel is set to star in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the upcoming sequel to Marvel’s Black Panther, marking Coel’s highest-profile role yet. According to “insiders” who spoke with Variety, Coel has already joined director Ryan Coogler at Pinewood Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.

Coel’s addition to the cast would have always been a big deal. The only hint of her return since I May Destroy You concluded last August has been the publication of her “first lil’ book,” Misfits: A Personal Manifesto, on September 7. (Perhaps getting ahead of the Marvel news, Coel announced that it’s available to preorder on Wednesday.) But the casting announcement is also the first real detail Marvel has divulged about what’s next after the devastating untimely death of the franchise’s titular star, Chadwick Boseman, following a private battle with colon cancer.

As for who Coel will play, well, you can bet that Marvel is keeping that under wraps; the studio wouldn’t even respond to Variety’s request for comment. Of course, that hasn’t stopped some Twitter users from speculating—though for the moment, most are simply rejoicing.