What Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger Is Up To Before Black Panther

killmonger black panther

Now that it's 2018, Ryan Coogler's Black Panther feels closer than ever - and yet we find ourselves not really knowing much about it (as per usual with Marvel Studios titles). Take, for example, the film's primary antagonist: Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger. Trailers and synopses have shown us the character, but nothing much else about his motivations or plans. Fortunately, the best details about the role have now come to us courtesy of a toy advert.

Erik Stevens was an American black-ops soldier who earned the nickname "Killmonger" while in the field. However, after disappearing off the grid, he has reemerged with a plan that threatens to put Black Panther and all of Wakanda at risk. Using his charisma, considerable skills in combat and his surprising knowledge of Wakandan customs, Erik Killmonger is a dangerous threat to all that T'Challa holds dear.

Marvel has kept most details about Black Panther a secret, but these key character details come to us courtesy of the movie's page on the Toys "R" Us website. The three sentence blurb obviously doesn't paint a full picture of who Erik Killmonger is as a person, or what kind of subtleties that Michael B. Jordan will bring to the part, but at the very least it tells us about a) where he comes from, b) his military background, c) a sense of his aims, and d) a breakdown of his key skills.

Up until now our only expectations for Erik Killmonger's part in Black Panther were based on the character in Marvel Comics - and this description isn't far off. In the source material, Erik was born in Wakanda, but his family was banished when his father assisted an invading force (albeit under duress). He spent most of his adolescence growing up in America, fostering an ever-growing grudge against Wakanda and the ruling family, and committed himself towards making himself into the "best" man he could be with the intent of making T'Challa's life hell. If the description of the movie villain above is leaving out a few key details, it's possible that the two wind up syncing well.

We are now embarking on Marvel Studio's second time releasing three features in a calendar year, and while both The Avengers: Infinity War (May 4th) and Ant-Man And The Wasp (July 6) seem far away, we are crazy close to finally seeing the expanse of Wakanda up on the silver screen. _Black Panther - _which stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis - will be arriving in theaters on February 16th. It is unquestionably one of the most anticipated blockbusters of the year, and you can be sure that we'll be covering the hell out of it in the coming weeks. And check out our full 2018 schedule to see what else is coming up in the next 12 months.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.