Did ‘Black Panther 2’ Just Cast ‘X-Men’ Fan-Favorite Storm?

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left, storm, right Micaela COel

Credit: Marvel Comics (Left), Warner Bros. (Right)

Marvel Studios has reportedly cast Emmy nominee and BAFTA winner Michaela Coel to an undisclosed role in the upcoming Black Panther 2. Now, the casting of the I May Destroy You actress has led to speculation that X-Men character Storm may be included in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the sequel to the 2018 superhero movie from director Ryan Coogler.

Black Panther 2
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Black Panther 2 adds Michaela Coel to cast

Variety is reporting that multi-hyphenate talent Michaela Coel — nominated for four Emmy awards for writing, editing, directing, and starring in HBO’s critically acclaimed I May Destroy You — has been added to the cast of Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) directed by Ryan Coogler. Details of Michaela Coel’s Marvel Cinematic Universe role remain a mystery for now, but with the film’s production currently underway, casting news for the hotly anticipated sequel is beginning to trickle out.

Michaela Cole
Warner Bros.

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It’s unclear at the moment exactly how the Marvel Cinematic Universe will fill the void left by the untimely death of King T’Challa actor Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther 2. While Marvel Studios has elected not to recast T’Challa in the sequel, it’s clear that the Marvel studio and director Ryan Coogler want to honor Chadwick Boseman’s legacy as a trailblazing leading man in the Marvel Universe.

recast Black Panther
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Will Michaela Coel portray X-Men mutant Storm?

This plan of action suggests a passing of the torch-style narrative for the Black Panther sequel. Most have speculated that T’Challa’s vibranium tech expert sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright) is next in line for the mantle of the Black Panther.

Black Panther 2
Credit: Marvel

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However, rumors have swirled of the inclusion of Marvel Comics’ original mutant, Namor and his kingdom of Atlantis in the plot of the upcoming film. If Marvel does plan on introducing mutants into Black Panther 2, is it possible they could also add King T’Challa’s Marvel Comics queen, Ororo Munroe? Most Marvel fans know Ororo as the extremly powerful — and  extremly cool — weather-controlling mutant Storm of the X-Men.

storm and black panther
Credit: Marvel Comics

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With Michaela Coel’s star on the rise, it makes sense that Marvel Studios would capitalize on her in-demand heat and cast her in a major role. While Michaela Coel would potentially be set to join the fierce Wakanda warriors, the Dora Milaje alongside Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Ayo (Florence Kasumba), her casting as Storm could follow director Ryan Coogler’s Marvel Comics inspiration — the Black Panther comics written by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

black panther wakanda
Credit: Marvel

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Coates’s run on Black Panther comics was a key influence on the aesthetic and storyline of the original Black Panther film. Ta-Nehisi Coates presented storm as an African goddess whose mutant powers eminanted not only from the X-gene, but as a gift from her ancestors. Given this interpretation of the character — not to mention the endless possibilities provided by the Multiverse — it’s possible Marvel Studios could introduce Storm in the film without even explicitly naming her or villain Namor as mutants at all in Phase 4.

Who is new Black Panther 2 actress, Michaela Coel?

Michaela Coel is a British actress who rose to fame for her work on Chewing Gum — a British sitcom she created and starred in, earning her a BAFTA Award for Best Female Comedy Performance. For the comedic drama series, I May Destroy You — co-produced by BBC One and Warner Bros. / HBO her talents as a screenwriter, producer, actress, and director gained hr mainstream recognition in the United States.

michaela coel
Credit: HBO / Warner Bros.

Michaela Coel is an Emmy nominee, up for four awards at the 2021 Primetime Emmys — including Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie. London-born Michaela Coel’s other notable credits include Black Mirror for Netflix, her work on the series Black Earth Rising, and the 2018 film Been So Long.

Who is Storm?

The X-Men character Storm is an Omega Level Mutant – considered to be one of the most powerful on planet Earth. She is able to control the weather and atmosphere at will, and manipulate Earth’s electromagnetic field. Born Ororo Munroe to a Kenyan tribal princess and an American photojournalist father, Ororo was revered as goddess for using her weather controlling powers to eliminate terrible droughts in the Serengeti region of Africa.

storm halle berry
Credit: Fox Studios

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Eventually, Ororo was discovered by Professor X, Charles Xavier and invited to join the X-Men. Ororo accepted Professor X’s offer in an effort to better understand her powers and abilities and to fight for mutant rights –adopting the moniker Storm.

Storm was portrayed in Fox Studios X-Men film series by Academy award winning actress Halle Berry. Halle Berry portrayed Storm in four films.

How would Storm fit into Black Panther 2?

In the comics, Black Panther and Storm have traditionally been portrayed as being romantically involved. In the mid 2000s, Storm and Black Panther were married for more than 5 years. With the passing of the late Chadwick Boseman and no T’Challa recasting forthcoming, Ororo Munroe could not follow her familiar narrative from the pages of Marvel Comics on film in the Black Panther (2018) sequel.

shuri novel
Credit: Marvel

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Marvel’s Shuri novel from Nic Stone could clue Marvel fans in on a possible path forward for the popular X-Men mutant in Wakanda. The novel reimagines Storm as the Queen of Kenya, and a staunch ally of Wakanda. Should the Marvel Cinematic Universe portray Storm in this way, we could see Storm allying with Wakanda in a battle with underwater Atlantis and Namor in the next Black Panther movie.

namor marvel comics
Credit: Marvel Comics

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will debut in theaters on July 8, 2022. The film stars likely returning cast Letitia Wright (Shuri) Danai Gurira (Okoye), Winston Duke (M’Baku), Daniel Kaluuya (W’Kabi), Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Florence Kasumba (Ayo) and Angela Bassett (Ramonda). Directed by Ryan Coogler, the sequel is currently in production in Atlanta.

Marvel What If...? title card

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Black Panther fans can enjoy Chadwick Boseman’s final performance as he voices an animated T’Challa in Marvel’s What If…? series coming to Disney+ August 11, 2021. You can catch up on recent Marvel Cinematic Universe hits like WandaVision starring Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier starring Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, and Loki starring Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson. For an added fee ($29.99) you can gain Premier Access on Disney+ to Marvel’s first movie release in two years, Black Widow (2021) starring Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh.

Do you want to see Storm in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)? Let us know in the comments!

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