One Black Panther Plot Point That Bugged Director Ryan Coogler

Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue in Black Panther

Warning: SPOILERS for Black Panther are ahead!

Marvel has had a generally good track record with its movies, but among the most successful is Black Panther. It's only been four months since T'Challa's standalone adventure arrived in theaters, but in that time it's not only been met with critical acclaim and made over $1.3 billion worldwide, it's become a cultural phenomenon. Black Panther is an especially big accomplishment for director Ryan Coogler, with this being just his third feature-length movie following Fruitvale Station and Creed. But as it turns out, one of the few regrets (if perhaps the only one) Coogler has about Black Panther is that Andy Serkis' Ulysses Klaue had to be killed off. As Coogler said:

I like Klaue. I was bugged by having to do that. It's tough when you have to kill characters off and I really did love that character.

Along with directing Black Panther, Ryan Coogler also co-wrote the movie with Joe Robert Cole, so he also contributed to how the story allowed on the printed page. So it's not like he didn't have a say in what happened to Ulysses Klaue, who was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron, but had a bigger role to play during the events of Black Panther. But as Coogler explained later in his interview with The Toronto Sun, there were so many important players in Black Panther that some people had to be taken off the board, and while he enjoyed what Andy Serkis did with the role, the Afrikaans arms dealer couldn't stick around until the end. In Coogler's words:

I love Andy, he's a lovely person. But again, it's one of those things where when you've got so many people in a movie, some of them have to go. Klaue in this movie, he's just having a good time. Every scene he's in, he's walking in like it's the best day of his life. He's got a swagger to him that's interesting and for me it was cool to see Andy act like that. It was a real pleasure.

Ulysses Klaue resurfaced in Black Panther with a prosthetic arm that contained a sonic disruptor cannon made from Wakandan mining equipment, a callback to the weapon he's outfitted with in the comics. It was revealed that Klaue had snuck into Wakanda nearly 30 years ago to steal vibranium, which resulted in numerous citizens of the technologically advanced African nation being killed. In the present, Klaue allied himself with Erik "Killmonger" Stevens, but it was revealed that he was just a means to an end, and Killmonger killed him and brought his body back to Wakanda so he could gain an audience with T'Challa. In the comics, Klaw (as it's spelled there) became a being of solidified sound and continues to be an antagonist in that universe, but as far as the MCU is concerned, his story is done.

Black Panther is now available to watch in the comfort of your own home on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, and you can still catch T'Challa and his heroic allies in Wakanda on the big screen in Avengers: Infinity War.

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.