Which Two Comic Book Villain Performances Inspired Michael B. Jordan In Black Panther

Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is an ever expanding place, but it's about to get even bigger. While Avengers: Infinity War will unite the main figures of the shared unvierse in the pending battle against Thanos and his forces, first the MCU will also be jumping into a new territory (literally) with Ryan Coogler's Black Panther. The upcoming blockbuster will be set in the fictional country of Wakanda, which is also the source of the world's caches of Vibranium. Michael B. Jordan is playing the villainous Killmonger, and he recently revealed which two supervillain performances inspired him to create something original for Black Panther.

You see performances as an actor, and as a fan -- you look at Heath Ledger's performance, say, in The Dark Knight, and it's like, 'Wow'. I want to try to get something like that. You want Michael Fassbender's Magneto. Just trying to find my place amongst those roles, and strive for that, even if I don't make it.

It looks like Michael B. Jordan was once again ready to put all of his focus on his latest blockbuster role. This time stepping into the villain side of things, he took inspiration from two very successful comic book villains: Heath Ledger's Joker from The Dark Knight and Michael Fassbender's Magneto from the First Class trilogy of X-Men films.

Michael B. Jordan's comments to Empire (via We Got This Covered) are particularly interesting because the two villains he cited are so different from each other. Michael Fassbender crafted an emotionally driven villain, who is attempting to get vengeance for the pain and suffering he endured as a child. Magneto attempts to advocate for the mutant community, standing up as he couldn't against the Nazis as a young boy. His story is personal and layered, which is something that Jordan will no doubt want to bring to Killmonger.

But Heath Ledger's Joker is quite the opposite. He's an anarchist, and neither the fans nor Batman knew how to handle him at any given moment. If Michael B. Jordan can bring this sense of unpredictability to his Marvel villain, then perhaps he'll be able to craft a bad guy who stands apart from the shared universe's villain problem. Of course, Ledger's performance was infamously method and self-destructive, so let's hope that the Creed actor was able to keep a healthy distance between himself and his character while Black Panther was shooting.

Overall, Michael B. Jordan picked two great comic book villains to be inspired by, and hopefully he'll be able to bring something special to Killmonger when Black Panther arrives in just a few months' time.

Black Panther will arrive in theaters on February 16, 2018. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.