As Black Panther: Wakanda Forever conquers awards season, one of its stars is hinting at what’s next for her character. During a recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Danai Gurira discussed Okoye’s MCU future following the changes her character goes through in the film.
For some time, we’ve heard that Ryan Coogler is developing a Wakanda centered series for Disney+. Back in May 2021, it was revealed that Gurira had signed on to reprise Okoye in a spinoff series. We don’t actually know if these are the same projects or two separate series, but The Walking Dead star certainly has something brewing.
“I have been told... that I can gently allude to this possibility,” she told Colbert. “So I am gently alluding.”
As Colbert noted, “gently alluding” is more than we ever get from the extremely secretive Marvel. So her small tease is a very big deal.
In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, after suffering public failure and humiliation, we see Okoye deal with losing her place as Wakanda’s general and protector. She is forced to reinvent herself in order to continue the fight against Namor. Gurira explained how Okoye’s personification of the “strong Black woman” trope made her fall from grace more impactful.
“Okoye is a very palpable representation of that. But to actually see her fail, a lot of women came to me and talked about how they appreciated seeing her vulnerability and showing that we shouldn’t have to carry the world on our shoulders,” she said. “And how do we process our own grief? Do we ever get to? The idea of her actually going through this failing…I realized how powerful it would be to actually allow a character like her to go through failing and complications that cause her to just not be able to stand strong and not hold everything together. She has to go through her brokenness too.”
On top of everything she goes through in Wakanda Forever, let’s not forget that Okoye is still reconciling her husband’s betrayal in the first film. She held a spear to his neck and forced him to stand down. Going from that, to immediately fighting Thanos’ army, to dealing with “the Blip,” to getting everyone back, to losing her king, means she’s never really had a chance to process her feelings about W’Kabi. A series where we get to see Okoye beginning a new chapter in her hero journey, while also letting herself finally feel everything she’s been holding back would be truly fascinating. I’d love to see Gurira finally get a chance to portray the woman beneath the general.