In the last few years, Michael B. Jordan has emerged as one of the most talented young actors around -- and soon he will be back on the big screen in what should be a nice, meaty role. The young star is featured as the primary antagonist of Ryan Coogler's Black Panther, bringing comic book villain Erik Killmonger to life in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But what exactly should we be expecting from the part? Well, per Jordan, there is really one perfect word that sums up his whole deal. Asked on set last year how Killmonger would describe himself, he offered,
Can I give a one-word answer? Can I ask if this is cool before I say it? [whispers into ear of publicist] Alright. He's a revolutionary.
Back in January 2017, I had the incredible opportunity to fly out to Atlanta, Georgia to visit the set of Black Panther while it was still in production, and part of the experience included a roundtable interview with Michael B. Jordan and a small group of other reporters. The actor was dressed in his character's full military gear, and was incredibly cautious about what he could reveal (hence checking with the on-set publicist before his answer above), but in his final response of the conversation he offered up a super intriguing one-word description of who Erik Killmonger really is and his goals he's trying to achieve.
The word "revolutionary" obviously has important political connotations, and that makes plenty of sense in Black Panther. After all, the movie will be opening up with some major shifts occurring in the government of Wakanda, with Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa ascending to the throne of the country following the death of his father, King T'Chaka (John Kani), during the events of Captain America: Civil War. Per what we learned on the set of the movie, there will be some people within the African nation who question whether or not T'Challa is the right man for the job, and it would seem that not only includes M'Baku of the Jabari tribe (portrayed by Winston Duke), but also the dangerous and deadly Erik Killmonger.
Footage we've seen from Black Panther seems to suggest that Michael B. Jordan's character is going to be organizing a coup of sorts, shaking up the political climate in Wakanda, though it is interesting that we don't really know too much more than that. Marvel Studios projects are always shrouded in secrecy, but this one is playing its cards very close to the vest. Bits of marketing have informed us that he is an American black-ops soldier with some dangerous knowledge about the world's most secretive country, but we'll have to wait and see how that coalesces as plot on the big screen.
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Thankfully, the wait for Black Panther is almost over. The film, 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.