Okoye Black Panther

Picking the most impressive part of ‘Black Panther’ is a tall order to say the least. Whether it’s the sympathetic villain Killmonger, the delightful characterization of Shuri, or even the film’s portrayal of Wakanda itself, there’s almost too much to like. But no such list would be complete without at least a mention of Okoye. Played by Danai Gurira, Okoye leads the Dora Milaje – something of a cross between an elite special forces unit and the Secret Service – and rivals Black Panther himself for the title of the film’s resident badass.

Like many of her castmates, Gurira will be returning to the Marvel Universe in just over a month for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. And based on what we’ve learned of the film to date, it promises to be an interesting one for Okoye. As someone who favored Wakanda’s continued isolation, the fact that T’Challa ultimately chose to “come out” to the United Nations would ordinarily be enough to push her character in interesting new directions. But when has Marvel been content to settle for what would ordinarily be enough? As we’ve seen in the trailers, at least one of the film’s major battles (one that involves Thanos himself, no less) will take place in Wakanda. The consequences of that will no doubt be huge, compounding the already significant status quo shift the country has seen. With that in mind, Gurira recently explained what Wakanda’s opening up will mean to her character going forward:

“She hasn’t been excited about outsiders. You’ll see more of that. You’ll see that in a very clear way in the movie. Outsiders, they threaten what they’ve tried to build up, but that’s the big question: Do we isolate or do we open up? It’s an interesting thing that’s highly relevant to what we’re dealing with in various parts of the Western world, but it’s from and African perspective, so it’s really interesting.”

Danai Gurira will next appear as Okoye in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, which marks the culmination of a decade-long effort by Marvel Studios and sees the Avengers team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to take on Thanos. Directed by the Russo brothers from a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the film counts Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Tom Holland, Karen Gillan, Paul Rudd, Chadwick Boseman, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olson, Sebastian Stan, and three gentlemen named “Chris” among its gargantuan cast. The long awaited movie is set to arrive in theaters on April 27, 2018.