Don’t Freeze! Danai Gurira’s Okoye Is Reportedly Starring In Black Panther Origin Series [Corrected]

Danai Gurira as Okoye in Black Panther (2018)
Danai Gurira as Okoye in Black Panther (2018)
Photo: Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Correction: 5/29/2021, 2:21 p.m. ET: An earlier version of this blog noted that Okoye will be getting her own original series, but upon clarification of the below blurb, it appears an Okoye-led series has not yet been confirmed. What has been confirmed via the below quoted section is Gurira’s character will be starring in the Black Panther origin series, Wakanda Forever.


Remember when Okoye (Danai Gurira) gave T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) the best macking advice when he was too nervous to approach Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) in Black Panther? She told him, “Don’t freeze.” Granted, he did anyway (which Okoye subsequently roasted him for), but the point is he eventually gathered enough gumption to have an extended conversation with her.

Well, it looks like Okoye is about to get a little bit more screen time in the Black Panther franchise.

The news actually first arrived on Thursday afternoon when several news outlets with a good eye spotted the buzzy announcement buried in The Hollywood Reporter’s listicle highlighting Hollywood’s “most powerful” attorneys. The attorney with the spotlight in question is Jamie Mandelbaum.

More about Mandelbaum:

Last year saw Mandelbaum negotiate two major deals with HBO. The first resulted in massive pay raises for the Succession cast (Brian Cox and Nicholas Braun are clients of his). The second was for showrunner Michael Patrick King to revisit Sex and the City, with his reboot now in production at HBO Max. Meanwhile, the rep—who also works with such show- runners as 9-1-1’s Tim Minear and The Handmaid’s Tale’s Bruce Miller—brokered a deal for actress Danai Gurira to not only reprise her role as Okoye in the upcoming Black Panther sequel but also in an origin spinoff series for Disney+.

You see that last sentence? Mandelbaum brokered a deal for Gurira to not only star in the much-anticipated Black Panther sequel, but to also star in the Black Panther origin series, too! What does all of that jargon mean? That means the contract for Okoye to star in the series is signed, sealed and delivered, thanks to her lawyer’s negotiations. It’s official—well, pending The Walt Disney Company’s official-official public announcement.


I’ve always advocated for an Okoye solo project, as I believe her admirable strength and unrelenting loyalty to Wakanda could lend to a rich story of her background. Plus, it’s her fight sequence that is the most memorable to me in all of Black Panther. So, I’m hoping that leads to her own origin series!

Black Panther Casino Fight 4K / YouTube

Deadline also followed up with a report via sources that Okoye’s origin story will be developed as a series, further noting that Gurira has been cast in the upcoming Wakanda Forever series that Ryan Coogler is developing over at Disney+.


The Root has reached out to representatives at Disney+ for official comment on the Okoye report and we are awaiting a response.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.



I noticed that the folks over AV Club are taking any marvel news by saying tired tripe like: “There’s been too much marvel...I’m not that interested.”
And I would like to point out, that these are the same small minded idiots that never would’ve imagined a movie like Black Panther would’ve been created in the first place.
So between F&WS reminding everyone how amazing the Dora Milaje are and this news with Okoye (and my own country getting representation with Moon Knight starring Oscar Isaac), let the new Marvel phase roll in BABY!