Black Panther: Danai Gurira to Appear in Disney+ Wakanda Series

The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand with many new series on Disney+, and while fans are eager to see what's next in the sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the franchise is also getting its own show on the new streaming service. And while there were questions about what exactly the show would entail, it looks like Marvel Studios is bringing back a familiar face in the form of Danai Gurira as the Dora Milage leader Okoye. The hero became a member of the Avengers during the five year gap between Infinity War and Endgame, so her inclusion in the Black Panther: Kingdom of Wakanda spinoff series isn't a huge surprise.

Gurira's involvement has not officially been confirmed by Marvel Studios. However, a new report from THR indicates that Gurira's lawyer Jamie Mandelbaum negotiated a deal for her return as Okoye in both Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and the spinoff series Kingdom of Wakanda.

Outside of formally announcing the Disney+ show with involvement from Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, Marvel Studios has yet to reveal any other information about the new series. In fact, details about the future of the franchise have been kept tightly under wraps — especially so after the death of star Chadwick Boseman. Coogler himself explained on Jemele Hill's Unbothered about the difficulty of crafting the Black Panther sequel without the actor who played the title character.

"You know, I'm currently going through it," he explained. "One thing that I've learned in my short or long time on this Earth, however, you want to look at it, it's difficult to have perspective on something while you're going through it. This is one of the more profound things that I've ever gone through in my life, having to be a part of keeping this project going without this particular person. Who was like the glue that held it together."

He added, "That said, you have a personal life, you have a professional life, you got a private life. When you work in something that you love, those things blend, they come together right? Your life kind of becomes your work for the better part of it. So, I'm trying to find a work-life balance, so I'm working on building two things that can stand on their own. I'm not there yet. But, this is without question, the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my professional life."

Actress Lupita Nyong'o recently spoke with Yahoo! about the sequel. During the interview, she touched on the difficulty of returning to the role without Boseman joining the rest of the cast and crew.

"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," Nyong'o said. "And I can't even begin to imagine what it will be like to step on set and not have him there... 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."

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is currently set to premiere in theaters on July 8, 2022. Kingdom of Wakanda does not yet have a release date on Disney+.