Michael B. Jordan has one word to describe Killmonger: “Revolutionary.”
Little by little, fans are getting a sense of what makes Michael B. Jorgan’s Killmonger tick. The villain of Marvel’s Black Panther has been described as “grounded,” very much rooted in the real world. In earlier interviews, Jordan has suggested T’Challa and Killmonger have a similar dynamic to the one between Xavier and Magneto. Both are reacting to the same issue – the fact the world is coming to know Wakanda’s secrets – but approach it from a completely different ideological position.
On a set visit to Atlanta last February, Screen Rant had an opportunity to join in on a conversation with Jordan – who at the the time was sporting some interesting mercenary armor – about his character. Asked to describe Killmonger, he leaned over to the unit publicist to check if it was okay. Then he chose to describe him in just one word: “He’s a revolutionary.”
According to Jordan, Killmonger is a “very selfless” villain who is “always looking at the bigger picture.” Intriguingly, Jordan suggested he’s done so from an early age, and that’s allowed Killmonger to cultivate a depth of thought and strategic skill. Over the years, Killmonger has developed a consistent worldview all of his own, one that conflicts markedly with T’Challa’s.
It seems Killmonger has been studying T’Challa for a long time, aware that the Black Panther will one day become King. Jordan suggests Killmonger is driven by something akin to jealousy and resentment, frustrated because he believes the wrong man has wound up in a position of authority. He’s watched T’Challa with a relentless focus, seeking to understand his foe. As Jordan noted, “It’s always interesting to train for an enemy you’ve never met before.”
The nation of Wakanda is in a state of political turmoil after the death of King T’Chaka. Wakanda has always been isolationist, but T’Chaka made the country party to the Sokovia Accords. He died in a foreign land, and no doubt some Wakandans will argue he should never have gone overseas in the first place. T’Challa made matters worse, and the United Nations now know about the existence of the Black Panther. Trailers have teased that the secret of Wakanda’s vibranium reserves is about to be revealed.
Killmonger has been biding his time, waiting for the ideal opportunity. This, he reasons, is his moment. “He’s good at chess,” Jordan noted, “and he was waiting for his perfect time to pop up.”
It’s certainly going to be interesting to see how Killmonger’s strategies fit into his own worldview. It looks as though he’ll actually form an uneasy alliance with foreign powers, working to further destabilize Wakanda. Killmonger’s goal will be to unseat T’Challa, to bring an end to the Black Panther‘s reign, and to lead Wakanda back towards isolationism. Given he gets far enough to suit up as the Golden Jaguar, he may well succeed in some of his ambitions.
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