The ‘Black Panther 2’ cast used their grief to ‘bring this baby home’ in honor of Chadwick Boseman

'Black Panther 2' Dora Milaje and Okoye
Image via Marvel Studios

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is Marvel’s highly anticipated return to the titular nation, and the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been before. Not only is the story introducing fans to a new villain, but it’s also the moment in which they’ll say goodbye to Chadwick Boseman as a hero both onscreen and off. 

One of the new stars brought in for the empowering storyline is Michaela Coel, who will storm our screens as Aneka. Coel spoke with Vogue about the experience of joining forces with our beloved characters in Wakanda, and the very real grief journey they were on as they came together to continue telling the emotional story. 

Boseman passed away after a lengthy cancer battle in 2020, and the war was a private one for the actor who didn’t let on to his personal struggles; instead, he took each day as it came and soaked in all of the beautiful moments he had with his loved ones. Some of them are the friends who became family in the Black Panther universe, with the cast forming a bond unlike anything they’d ever experienced, and losing Boseman left a life-altering mark on their hearts. 

Coel felt all of those emotions as she stepped into the sacred space, and she also felt a responsibility to tell the story in a way that would honor Boseman. 

“It felt like the entire cast was processing grief. There was a sense that we have to bring this baby home in the name of Chadwick. I thought to myself, I’m rolling up my sleeves and I’m getting in. I don’t need to be front and center, I’m here to support.”

Supporting those who loved Boseman is exactly what the cast needed. Co-star Winston Duke would go on to say that Coel became part of the family, and her contributions to the story will be discovered by fans when Wakanda Forever hits theaters in November.

The journey back to Wakanda will be one of the most emotional in the MCU’s history, but we’d expect nothing less with a hero like Boseman. There will be tears, moments of heartache, and joy in continuing the story, one we know T’Challa will be an intricately woven part of. As the vulnerable King of Wakanda; there’s no way the story could be anything but an ode to the man he was.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on Nov. 11, and you’ll want to bring tissues for this otherworldly adventure.