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The Complicated Relationship Between Black Panther's Klaue And Martin Freeman's Character

Ulysses Klaue and Everett Ross in Black Panther

While the majority of Black Panther's main players hail from Wakanda, there will be a few outsiders participating in the story, specifically Martin Freeman's Everett K. Ross and Andy Serkis' Ulysses Klaue. Both characters have already been introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but since they're both primarily tied to the Black Panther mythos in the comics, this movie will serve as their most important appearances yet. Although Ross and Klaue will find themselves on opposite sides in Black Panther, Freeman noted that Ross needs to maintain a working relationship of sorts with Klaue in order to gain intel on other notorious criminals. Freeman explained:

Yeah, I mean I think Klaue is one of those people for Everett who he want to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. He wants him definitely on his radar to do future business, because he'd rather know where crazy guys like that are in the world than just let him go or have nothing to do with him. That was the interesting thing about playing those things with Andy Serkis, because normally I think there's something about, our Ross anyway, that is quite ... he has a lot of status in any room he comes in, he assumes that status I think. And he has no idea how to deal with Klaue, because Klaue is a lunatic, he's insane. Normally it might be Ross, I think who's a bit, 'Hey!' and a bit like that but actually he's coming across on who's just completely off the map, as far as that's concerned.

Speaking with CinemaBlend's own Eric Eisenberg and a group of other reporters at a Black Panther set visit last year, Martin Freeman then added that although Everett Ross realizes he needs to "contain" Ulysses Klaue, it's also important that he obtains information from him and ensure that the arms dealer keeps coming back to him. This is in sharp contrast to what T'Challa wants, who's keen on taking Klaue off the proverbial board because of the threat he poses to Wakanda. So even though T'Challa and Ross are allies in Black Panther just like in the comics, they'll have opposing views on the best way to handle Klaue.

Everett Ross was last seen in Captain America: Civil War overseeing Helmut Zemo's transfer into prison for his many crimes, including killing T'Challa's father, King T'Chaka. When asked if the relationship between Ross and Ulysses Klaue is similar at all to the last scene between Ross and Zemo, Martin Freeman responded:

Yeah, maybe so. Yeah, maybe so. I mean, I enjoyed both those scenes, but what I like about being on the receiving end of Klaue is that you are on the receiving end of it, you know what I mean? Like, he's going to do to you whatever he wants to do. There was no way that, I as Martin, or me as Ross, could top that. Then you would just have two insane fucking people going crazy and the scene wouldn't contain it, but Andy is extremely good at that wrong footing, keeping you guessing stuff. I think Ross doesn't like... he's a pretty powerful guy, he doesn't like being wrong footed in his own kitchen and that's kind of what happened with Klaue, yeah.

Originally the Deputy Task Force Commander of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, Everett Ross is back to being a "regular" CIA agent in Black Panther, and he'll team up with T'Challa to protect Wakanda. As for Ulysses Klaue, he was last seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron getting his arm ripped off by Ultron. However, thanks to the billions of dollars the robot wired him minutes before, Klaue has a weaponized prosthesis in its place, and he'll use that and all his other resources to help Erik Killmonger bring down the Wakandan kingdom.

Black Panther will be released in theaters on February 16.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.