One of the best villains in the MCU, Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger, only showed up in the franchise in a single movie, 2018's Black Panther. Such was the popularity of the character that fans have been clamoring to see him return in the upcoming Black Panther 2. In an interview with SXM, Jordan was asked, on a scale of 1 to 10, about the likelihood of Killmonger's return. Michael B. Jordan seemed to consider the prospect unlikely but did not dismiss the notion completely.
"I didn't want to go with zero, you know what I mean? And it's like, you know, never say never, you know, I can't predict the future. So I mean, it's Black Panther 2. The two, I just figured two would be like, two sounds okay, I guess... All I know is that they're developing a script that, you know, is a reflection of a lot of circumstances and tragedy that we had to deal with this past year."
After the breakout success of Black Panther, fans were hyped to see where the adventures of the nation of Wakanda would go in the franchise's next chapter. But then came the news of the passing of lead actor Chadwick Boseman after a long battle with colon cancer that few people outside his family had been aware of.
Since then, the future of the series has been in turmoil, with people asking whether the character of King T'Challa aka Black Panther will be retired or played by a new actor. In a recent interview, Lupita Nyong'o, who will be returning for Black Panther 2 along with director Ryan Coogler, stated that an effort has been made to reshape the film to address the loss of Boseman.
"I can't even begin to imagine what it will be like to step on set and not have him there. But at the same time we have a leader in Ryan, who feels very much like we do, who feels the loss in a very, very real way as well. And his idea, the way which he has reshaped the second movie is so respectful of the loss we've all experienced as a cast and as a world. So it feels spiritually and emotionally correct to do this. And hopefully, what I do look forward to, is getting back together and honoring what he started with us and holding his light through it. Because he left us a lot of light that we're still going to be bathing in. I know that for sure."
In Avengers: Endgame, a throwaway line about underwater earthquakes near Wakanda had hinted at the arrival of Namor, the Sub-Mariner, whose Kingdom of Atlantis could have posed an interesting challenge to Wakanda. That whole storyline might now be scrapped, or Boseman's absence might be worked into the story. It will be interesting to see how the MCU deals with the narrative complexities of the entire matter Directed by Ryan Coogler, Black Panther 2 arrives in theaters on July 8, 2022.