‘Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan on Creating Erik Killmonger’s Backstory

     February 21, 2018

I think we can all agree the antagonists of the Marvel Universe have been a weak link in an otherwise amazing film series. All too often, it feels like the villain is an afterthought, and whatever plan they have hasn’t been fully developed. Of course that’s not always the case, because most people love Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Michael Keaton in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Daniel Bruhl’s villainous Helmut Zemo in Captain America: Civil War, and Robert Redford’s Alexander Pierce along with Sebastian Stan’s Bucky in Captain America: The Winter Solider. But for a film universe made up of over twenty movies, you’d be hard pressed to name more than a few other antagonists that were really well written.

Enter Black Panther director Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan with Erik Killmonger.


Image via Marvel Studios

While the entire movie is well done and tells a great story that people have flocked to around the world, I’d argue one of the main reasons the movie works so well is the way Coogler and Black Panther co-writer Joe Robert Cole wrote Erik Killmonger. Without getting into spoilers for people that haven’t seen it, the way Killmonger is written and portrayed by Michael B. Jordan, you completely understand why he is acting the way he does, and why he wants to get revenge for what’s been done to him. He’s written as a three dimensional character that makes some great points, he just goes too far in trying to achieve his goals. Trust me, when you see Black Panther, I’m beyond confident you’ll walk away thinking Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger was one of the highlights of the film.

At the recent Los Angeles press day for Black Panther, I got to sit down with Michael B. Jordan for an exclusive video interview. He talked about how they created his character, how the film touches on what’s happening in our world without it feeling forced or like it’s preaching, How they wanted people to understand Killmonger’s point of view, what’s special about a Ryan Coogler film, and more.


Image via Marvel Studios

As everyone that reads Collider knows, written by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole, the film stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther (first introduced in Captain America: Civil War), who returns home to the isolated and advanced nation of Wakanda in the wake of his father’s death to assume his rightful place as king. Matters are complicated when his place on the throne is put into question. Black Panther also stars Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett and Andy Serkis.

Check out what Michael B. Jordan had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about followed by the official synopsis.

Michael B. Jordan:

  • How did they create his character?
  • Talks about what’s special about a Ryan Coogler film.
  • How he wanted people to understand Killmonger’s point of view.
  • How the film touches on what’s happening in our world without it feeling forced or like it’s preaching.

Image via Marvel Studios

Here’s the official synopsis for Black Panther:

Marvel Studios’ Black Panther follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king -and Black Panther- is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.

Latest News