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In Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron, audiences got a taste of the pre-existing relationship between Andy Serkis' Ulysses Klaue and the nation of Wakanda. We learned that he has been there before, driven by his fascination with Vibranium, and walked away with a special brand on his neck marking him a thief. Following that introduction, we long expected him to show up in the developing Black Panther movie, and according to Serkis, the solo film will get more into that particular backstory. Said the actor,
He's got a very specific relationship to Wakanda. He's got a bit of a love/hate relationship with it, really. He certainly has discovered things about it that nobody else has, and we discover that in this movie. He's one of the few people who's been into Wakanda and he reveals quite a lot about it.
It was around this time last year that Andy Serkis was down in Atlanta, Georgia filming scenes as Ulysses Klaue in Black Panther, and on one of those January days I too was on set -- joining a group of other invited film journalists. In full costume, Serkis took a break from production to sit down with us for an interview, and during the conversation was asked about his character's past with Wakanda. He revealed just a bit, but accentuated the fact that Klaue is one of the few people on Earth who knows the truth about the Wakandan nation.
The scene being filmed while I was on set had Ulysses Klaue in custody being interrogated by Everett Ross (Martin Freeman), T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o). As seen in the first trailer for Black Panther, this is a sequence where Klaue starts to open up about the real Wakanda, and explains that it is not the third-world country that the world thinks it is. Hopefully it's just a taste of the story behind how Klaue knows what he knows.
As a follow-up, Andy Serkis was asked if Ulysses Klaue has a "personal relationship" with T'Challa, and he had an interesting answer. While it doesn't sound like they have a connection matching what's been previously seen in the comics (where the former kills the latter's father), they have apparently done battle in the past. Said Serkis,
He doesn't really have a personal relationship with anyone, but they've definitely crossed paths. They spar. [laughs]
After years and years of waiting, Marvel fans will finally be able to see Black Panther and Ulysses Klaue go toe-to-toe on the big screen in a few weeks. The film is set to arrive in theaters nationwide on February 16th -- and we'd recommend staying tuned here on CinemaBlend for not only more of our set visit coverage, but also new interviews with the cast and filmmakers.