Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Cast and Character Guide: Who's Who in MCU Sequel

by Susan Ryant

Even though practically every Marvel movie is a huge hit, Black Panther , stands apart for some reason. It took apart every notion about an origin tale and because of the way the movie influenced Black representation in cinema, it became an instant sensation. Writer and director Ryan Coogler gave the character his first modern big-screen outing with the kind of storytelling that allowed it to go beyond genre preconceptions and appeal to viewers from different walks of life. Critics hailed Black Panther as an inventive standout that offered a colorful but realistic reality, filled with socially conscious reflection. The movie doesn't revolutionize the superhero genre so much as claims and revives it.

The first Black Panther became a cultural sensation in addition to being a box office success and the first superhero movie to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. All of this heightens interest in the eagerly anticipated Black Panther sequel, but this wasn’t without its problems. Plans for the following Black Panther movie saw some difficulty after Chadwick Boseman tragically passed away in 2020 after a fight with colon cancer. The cast and crew debated how to best respect the late actor's legacy in a sequel movie that had lost its eponymous character. It was decided not to recast Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa and to concentrate instead on the various colorful personalities of Wakanda that were presented in the first movie and see to whom the mantle could be passed.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will debut in theaters on November 11 and will be the third new Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to be released in 2022 after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 6 and Thor: Love and Thunder on July 8. Keep reading below for a cast and character guide for one of the most anticipated movies of the year.

Editor's Note: This article was last updated on November 9.

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Letitia Wright as Shuri

Letitia Wright as Shuri during T'Challa's funeral in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Image via Marvel Studios

Letitia Wright, who made a name for herself as T'Challa's sister Shuri in Black Panther, is the lead in the superhero sequel. In the sequel, we find Shuri heavily grieving the loss of her brother, King T'Challa, and feeling guilty about his death. Being in charge of Wakanda's scientific endeavors, Shuri is a remarkable inventor and a true technological genius who uses the plentiful supply of the rare metal Vibranium to benefit her nation. Her abilities to remove Bucky Barnes' conditioning, save Everett Ross from an injury that would have left him paralyzed, and develop a safer way to remove the Mind Stone from Vision are proof of her amazing skills. In case she ever has to engage in combat, the Wakandan princess has her own gauntlets that fire vibrations. The energy emanating from the mouth of these gauntlets, which are shaped like panther heads, sounds like a roaring panther.

Letitia Wright was noticed by Hollywood after Michael Caton-Jones cast her in Urban Hymn (2015) in her first leading role. She had an appearance in the Doctor Who episode "Face the Raven" the same year, and the following year, she started playing Renie on Humans regularly. Wright also made an appearance at the Gate Theatre in London in the play Eclipsed, which was written by her co-star, Danai Gurira . She was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her work in the Black Mirror episode, "Black Museum."

Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia

Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Image via Marvel Studios

The Oscar-winning artist Lupita Nyong'o will reprise her role as Nakia the love interest and childhood friend of T'Challa. Since the events of the last film, Nakia has once again left the Kingdom of Wakanda, living in another part of the world, where that is and what she's doing, you'll just have to see the movie to find out.

Nyong'o made her movie debut in 2013's 12 Years a Slave . She won praise from critics for her subtly distressing performance of Patsey, a young slave who is routinely raped by her master (Michael Fassbender) and disparaged by his wife (Sarah Paulson). The movie, which was helmed by Steve McQueen, won an Oscar for best picture Oscar, and Nyong'o received an Oscar for Best-Supporting Actress. Nyong'o also appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015 as the thousand-year-old pirate Maz Kanata. She later provided the voice for the computer-animated Raksha the wolf in the live-action 2016 version of The Jungle Book.

Danai Gurira as Okoye

Danai Gurira as Okoye in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Image via Marvel Studios

Danai Gurira will be coming back as the fierce Okoye, the commander of the Wakandan military and intelligence, as well as the General of the Dora Milaje. Danai Gurira already has three MCU films under her belt, including Black Panther in 2018 and Avengers: Infinity War in 2019, as well as a small part in Avengers: Endgame in 2019. It only seems logical that the leader of the Dora Milaje will remain to fight the enemy during Phase 4 and beyond. The future of the MCU gains yet another intriguing character with Gurira's return. Her Okoye will have a lot of fascinating plot lines ahead of her as she guides Wakanda and Marvel through the devastating death of Chadwick Boseman.

As the leader of the Dora Milaje, Okoye is one of the most accomplished martial artists in Wakanda, second only to T'Challa in terms of skill and strength in hand-to-hand combat. She has trained extensively and is exceptionally proficient in a variety of combat styles. Both in close-quarters battle and at a distance, Okoye is a master at employing her Vibranium Spear. In her role as the general, Okoye is a master strategist who guided the Dora Milaje through the conflicts in Mount Bashenga, Wakanda, and Earth. Her influence and relationship with Black Panther and Wakanda are a result of her leadership.

Danai Gurira has an impressive portfolio apart from her work in the MCU. In 2012, she joined the cast of The Walking Dead , which is the highest-rated series in cable television history. Gurira plays the ruthless katana-wielding heroine Michonne, who joins a tight-knit group in a post-apocalyptic society. Apart from her work in films and shows, she is also a brilliant playwright and was nominated for the Tony Awards for Best Play for her play Eclipsed, which is the first play with an all-female, all-black cast and creative team to have a Broadway premiere.

Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda

Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Image via Marvel Studios

Angela Bassett will return to the kingdom of Wakanda as Ramonda, T'Challa and Shuri's mother and the Queen Mother of Wakanda. Bassett has hinted at the overwhelming greatness of the sequel and believes it will surpass its predecessor. As Wakanda's Queen Mother, Bassett's Ramonda is essential in leading her nation into battle if required. Ramonda and Shuri will have to exercise even greater leadership as they seek to keep their country safe.

In the first Black Panther, Bassett didn't have many action scenes since M'Baku, played by Winston Duke , kept her safe while the Wakandan Civil War was being fought by T'Challa and Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger. While there is still a lot of uncertainty about the nature of her position and where she is in the battle action, it looks that this time things will be changing. Ramonda will be making her second complete appearance in the MCU, and Bassett seems prepared to do her best to offer her a compelling story. Fans have already seen some of Bassett's characters engaged in combat in the animated What If...? series, but the Wakandan Queen will bring those intense scenes into the live-action setting.

Bassett began her acting career in the 1980s but the role of singer Tina Turner in the 1993 biopic What's Love Got to Do with It , earned Bassett an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, and marked the beginning of her successful acting career. She later went on to star in several well-received and lucrative movies, such as Malcolm X (1992) and Panther (1995) as Betty Shabazz, Voletta Wallace in Notorious (2009), and Amanda Waller in Green Lantern (2011), and many more. Bassett has received numerous achievements, including a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Golden Globe Award, seven NAACP Image Awards, and three Black Reel Awards.

Winston Duke as M'Baku

Winston Duke as M'Baku in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Image via Marvel Studios

Winston Duke will play M'Baku once more, the fierce and dignified chief of the Jabari tribe of Wakanda, a group of Wakandans who have isolated themselves from society. He is an ardent critic of T'Challa's authority and finds himself split between opposing him for the throne and supporting him in the fight against Erik Killmonger. In response to his decision to spare T'Challa's life and collect his troops to aid in killing Killmonger in their last battle, M'Baku was granted a place on the Tribal Council for his recognition of the danger that Killmonger posed to the world. M'Baku helped the other tribes defend Wakanda from Thanos' army of Outriders. M'Baku was one of the Snap survivors and was recruited by the Masters of the Mystic Arts to assist the Avengers and take part in the Battle of Earth when the victims of the Snap were brought back to life in 2023.

As M'Baku, Duke played a prominent role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers Endgame. He also appeared in Jordan Peele's hugely successful horror movie Us , which came out in 2019. Duke co-starred with Mark Wahlberg in the Netflix action-comedy film Spenser Confidential in 2020, in which he played the role of Hawk, an impulsive guy with a penchant for violence and sarcasm.

Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross

Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Image via Marvel Studios

For Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, actor Martin Freeman will return to his CIA Agent Everett Ross role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In Captain America: Civil War, Freeman detained Bucky Barnes and, towards the movie's conclusion, Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl), in the role of the bureaucratic Everett Ross. Ross had been sent to find Ulysses Klaue after leaving the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre, which had brought Ross back in touch with Black Panther, who was trying to apprehend Klaue for crimes he had committed in the past. Ross, who had been fatally wounded by Erik Killmonger, was restored to health by Shuri in Wakanda, where Ross had previously learned about all the breakthroughs in technology brought on by their mining of Vibranium. He also saw Killmonger seize power while he was in Wakanda, and because T'Challa had saved his life, felt obligated to repay him by helping the Black Panther battle Killmonger's army. Ross then helped T'Challa when he started distributing Wakanda's real assets to the rest of the world.

Martin Freeman is a renowned English actor, well recognized for his roles of Tim Canterbury in the mockumentary The Office (2001–2003), Dr. John Watson in the British mystery drama Sherlock (2010–2017), Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit film trilogy (2012–2014), and Lester Nygaard in the dark comedy–crime drama Fargo 's debut season. He has received numerous honors, including an Emmy, a BAFTA, a Screen Actors Guild, and a nomination for a Golden Globe.

Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams

black panther wakanda forever lupita nyongo dominique thorne Image via Marvel

Dominique Thorne, the actress who will play Ironheart in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has joined the cast of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and has quite a substantial role. A genius MIT student, Riri's vibranium detector is what helps kick off the central plot of the film, and is soon whisked away to Wakanda. Thorne had earlier been revealed as the MCU's Riri Williams for the upcoming Disney+ series Ironheart , which will be titled after the hero. Before the debut of her self-titled series, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige stated that Thorne would make her MCU debut as Ironheart.

In the world of Marvel Comics, William is a teenage engineering prodigy who creates her variation on the Iron Man suit. She lives in Chicago with her mother and aunt after the passing of her father and manages to get herself enrolled in MIT at the age of 15. She constructs her own design of an Iron Man-inspired armor there and is approached by Tony Stark who gives her his approval. With the current storyline, there is currently no information about Robert Downey Jr. or Tony Stark being a part of the character's journey in the MCU.

Thorne made her feature film debut in the 2018 film If Beale Street Could Talk as Shelia Hunt, the irritable younger sister of the lead character Fonny Hunt. She then portrayed Judy Harmon, a member of the Black Panther in the movie Judas and the Black Messiah in 2021.

Florence Kasumba as Ayo

florence-kasumba-black-panther Image via Marvel Studios

Florence Kasumba will reprise her role as Ayo, the second-in-command of the Dora Milaje. Ayo is responsible for protecting the Golden Tribe and served as T'Chaka's and T'Challa's protector during their rule. However, she was compelled to accompany Erik Killmonger after T'Challa had lost a ceremonial battle to him until T'Challa eventually returned and beat Killmonger. Ayo assisted Bucky Barnes in releasing himself from his HYDRA programming following Captain America: Civil War . She participated in the Battle of Wakanda to help defend her country against the invasion of Thanos once it had reached Wakanda. After Barnes assisted Baron Zemo's escape, Ayo was dispatched to deliver him to the Dora Milaje in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier .

Florence Kasumba has made numerous film and television appearances in the Dutch, German, and English shows. She has performed in a variety of musicals including The Lion King, Cats, West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, and many more. She was also cast to play a title role for Germany’s premiere production of Elton John’s international hit musical Aida. Kasumba voiced the character of Shenzi in 2019's computer-animated adaptation of The Lion King.

Tenoch Huerta as Namor

tenoch huerta as namor in black panther wakanda forever Image via Marvel

Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta portrays Namor the Sub-Mariner, the mutant leader of an undersea empire called Talocan. One of the original mutant figures in Marvel history, the character is typically portrayed as an anti-hero with questionable morals. That seems to be the case in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever as well.

Huerta has largely worked as an actor in Latin America and Spain, but he has also acted in numerous American-produced films. In Netflix's Narcos: Mexico , he portrayed Rafael Caro Quintero and has also made cameos in a few Hollywood productions, including Spectre .

Michaela Coel as Aneka

michaela coel black panther wakanda forever aneka Image via Marvel Studios

British actress Michaela Coel has been cast as Aneka, a member of the Dora Milaje. With the release of her I May Destroy You miniseries on HBO Max in 2020, Michaela Coel's spectacular journey to fame officially began. She not only wrote the series, which received four Emmy nominations, but she also produced, directed, and performed in it. Coel also has had guest appearances in two episodes of Black Mirror on Netflix, in addition to playing a supporting role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi .

Mabel Cadena as Namora

Mabel Cadena as Namora in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Image via Marvel Studios

Mabel Cadena plays Namora, Namor's cousin, who also lives in Talocan, and is one of his closest and most trusted allies. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will mark Cadena first major American production, having previously acted in Mexican films and series such as Monarca , Dance of the 41 , Asphalt Goddess , and Ingobernable .

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