BAFTA winner and 4x Emmy-nominated actress Michaela Coel has just been cast in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, according to Variety.

No role was disclosed, which leaves us free to theorize who she could be playing.

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One leading theory is that she could be Aneka, a Midnight Angel of Wakanda and Ayo’s girlfriend. The first part of this idea is very exciting because the Midnight Angels are the most elite strike force of the Dora Milaje, giving us even more powerful women of color on the big screen and in the MCU. Playing a Midnight Angel might also lead to Coel’s involvement with the mysterious Wakanda show focused on Okoye and the Dora Milaje.

Who Is Michaela Coel?

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The second detail is equally exciting because it would resolve the queer erasure criticism of the first film. In 2018, screenwriter Joe Robert Cole teased possible discussions of gay relationship(s) in Wakanda, which never made it to the final film. Yet in 2017, Vanity Fair claimed that an early cut of Black Panther did have a scene teasing an Ayo/Okoye relationship, which was later deleted. Thanks to an interview with Screen Crush, Joe Robert Cole was made aware of the controversy caused by the deletion. Now that Cole is returning to write Black Panther II, it’s actually possible that this erasure could be resolved in the upcoming film.

Michaela Coel’s Emmy nominations are the fruits of her new HBO Max series I May Destroy You, which she directed, wrote, produced and starred in. She has also performed in Black Mirror, Chewing Gum (which she created), Been So Long, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Coel is the latest in Marvel Studios’ new tradition of hiring richly creative and diverse rising talents.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever began filming last month and will release in theaters on July 8, 2022. Are you excited to see who Michaela Coel will play? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

michaela coel actress

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