Danai Gurira‘s Okoye made her debut in 2018’s Black Panther and was an immediate scene-stealer, leading to her appearing again in Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. And we’ll be seeing even more of her in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only will Gurira be reprising her role as the leader of the Dora Milaje in the theatrical sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, there is word she is now getting her own Black Panther spin-off series on Disney+.
In a feature from The Hollywood Reporter about influential Hollywood lawyers, the entry on attorney Jamie Mandelbaum says he “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+.”
We don’t have any information about this alleged Black Panther spin-off series beyond it being an origin story, but this is not surprising (and indeed, very exciting) news for the fan-favorite character from Black Panther. Though Okoye is a fairly new character in Marvel Comics, first appearing in Black Panther comics in the 1990s, Gurira was an immediately striking presence as the leader of the Dora Milaje, the fearless female warriors who served as T’Challa’s personal bodyguards and elite fighting unit. Okoye was one of the key Black Panther characters to appear again in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, fighting off Thanos’ invasion of Wakanda, so it was basically a given that she would appear again in the theatrical sequel.
Apart from being T’Challa’s loyal general, Okoye hasn’t had much of an internal life beyond being in a relationship with W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya), whom she was forced to fight in Killmonger’s usurping of the throne. So getting to learn her origin story would be a welcome bit of storytelling for this character, who is basically all presence at the moment.
It’s also unclear whether Gurira’s Black Panther spin-off would be a different entity than the Wakanda TV series that Black Panther director Ryan Coogler is developing for Disney+. It’s possible they are in fact one and the same, and that the Wakanda series would be centered around Gurira’s Okoye. Whatever the case, we can probably expect Coogler to have a hand in the Disney+ project Gurira is starring in, due to his his five-year TV deal with Disney.
You can see Gurira next in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which is currently scheduled to open in theaters on July 8, 2022.
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