Why Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger Is Different From The Other Black Panther Characters

Black Panther Michael B Jordan Killmonger

We only have two weeks left until Black Panther finally debuts, and one of the most interesting aspects of the movie (which is saying something, considering the critical praise it's already receiving) is Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger, who seems to promise something new for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact, during a visit to the Black Panther set last year, Jordan opened up to CinemaBlend and other outlets and explained that Killmonger is different from the rest of the Black Panther ensemble because he's an American, and because he's an outsider separate from the Wakandans. Jordan said:

It's interesting because I'm not really associated with any of the Wakandans. I guess I'm the best representation of America? So, when it comes to getting into the characters from the offset, I'm kind of late in the game. This is the first project between me and Ryan where I wasn't there from the very beginning. So, coming into the middle of shooting, not really being there from pre-production, and getting the chance to spend a lot of time with the cast and stuff like that actually works in my favor.

We have known for some time that Erik Killmonger would be an American during the events of Black Panther. His accent even seems notably different from the Wakandan members of the cast like Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Letitia Wright. However, the differences extend one step further in the sense that he also wasn't there from the beginning, and unlike Ryan Coogler's work on films like Fruitvale Station and Creed, he wasn't part of every step of production. As a result of that logistical decision, he was able to create a sense of distance between himself and the Wakandans.

These qualities seem specifically worth mentioning because they show some of the critical differences that exist between T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Erik Killmonger. Much has already been said about the fact that Killmonger (at least based on early trailers) looks like a dark reflection of T'Challa's powers, abilities, and looks. That said, these differences in origin and characterization show part of the rift that exists between the personalities of these two characters. We know who King T'Challa is going into this movie, but it sounds like Killmonger will be more of a slowly-unraveling mystery as an outsider.

Watch out for Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger when Black Panther hits theaters later this month on February 16. From there, T'Challa will go on to fight Thanos (Josh Brolin) and The Black Order alongside Earth's mightiest heroes when Avengers: Infinity War makes its theatrical debut on May 4. Here's what we have on Black Panther, if you'd like to get up-to-date ahead of the new movie, which is just around the corner!

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.