Marvel's Black Panther is shaping up to be one of the biggest movies of the new year, with a Fandango poll of 8,000 moviegoers claiming that it is the second most anticipated movie of 2018, behind Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War. While we'll have to wait and see if this anticipation will lead to another huge box office win for Marvel, new details have surfaced from star Michael B. Jordan, who revealed that he was inspired by two villainous performances outside of the MCU, Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight and Michael Fassbender's Magneto in the most recent X-Men trilogy. Here's what the actor had to say below.
"You see performances as an actor, and as a fan, you look at Heath Ledger's performance, say, in The Dark Knight, and it's like, 'Wow.' I want to try to get something like that. You want Michael Fassbender's Magneto. Just trying to find my place amongst those roles, and strive for that, even if I don't make it."
While we'll have to wait until February 16 to see if his performance as Erik Killmonger is even comparable to Heath Ledger's Joker or Michael Fassbender's Magneto. If it is, then it's possible that Marvel's approach to its villains is improving. While the films of the MCU have been big hits on both a critical and commercial scale, if there's any weak link among these movies it's the villains, who have often been criticized by Marvel fans. This will certainly be rectified in Avengers: Infinity War, when the Mad Titan himself, Thanos (Josh Brolin) emerges to collect all of the Infinity Stones for his powerful Infinity Gauntlet.
Black Panther director Ryan Coogler revealed in an interview from July that he was "surprised" at how much creative freedom Marvel Studios gave him, to craft the kind of story he wanted to tell. The filmmaker added that there is a very collaborative nature at Marvel Studios, which makes it feel like the filmmaker and everyone at the studio, "are in it together". The story is set in the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War, with King T'Challa returning home as the new leader, after his father T'Chaka (John Kani) was killed in Captain America: Civil War. T'Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakanadan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.
Earlier this week, Marvel kicked off its 50-day countdown to Black Panther, which will certainly intensify during the new year, as we get closer and closer to the February 16, 2018 release. As of now, the movie will be going up against Lionsgate and Aardman Animation's animated comedy Early Man and PureFlix's faith-based drama Samson in its release, while being sandwiched between high-profile movies like The 15:17 to Paris, Fifty Shades Freed and Peter Rabbit on February 9, and Annihilation, Game Night and The War With Grandpa opening on February 23. You can head on over to Empire for more on Black Panther.