Will Michael B. Jordan Return For Black Panther 2?
Audiences and critics—even the film's star Chadwick Boseman—agree that Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger was the real hero of Black Panther. The character even represented a more revolutionary sort of politics than Boseman's T’Challa. As Steven Thrasher wrote for Esquire, "Killmonger wants to use Wakanda’s weapons to stop the suffering of Black people globally, and we, the audience, are manipulated into rooting against this because we live in an ideology in which nonviolence is always expected of Black people no matter what."
It made for a devastating conclusion when Killmonger is defeated at the hands of T'Challa in film's final moments. Jordan's Killmonger was dead.
Or was he?
On Sunday at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, ET asked Black Panther star Angela Bassett if everyone in the cast would return for the upcoming sequel. “I would assume so," she replied. Then her husband, Courtney B. Vance, chimed in to say, "Yes, just go ahead and say it, yes! Everyone will be there, including Michael B."
Bassett added: “[We didn’t technically see him] go into the ocean, no.”
And while we shouldn't expect Vance to be up on the latest Marvel casting news, they do make a great point. We didn't technically see Killmonger die.
Plus, would it matter? No one is ever really dead in a comic book movie. Just look at the upcoming Avengers: Endgame, which will show how all your favourite superheroes return from the dead.
In terms of story, it would make for a compelling sequel to see Killmonger and T'Challa join forces for the same goal. That would resolve many of the political complaints critics have had with the ending of Black Panther.
But even outside of the story, Disney would be crazy to pass up the opportunity to bring back Michael B. Jordan. He's been nominated for dozens of awards for his performance in Black Panther. And seeing as Disney has become a legitimate Oscar contender for its Marvel movies, they'd obviously want another shot at an acting nomination with Jordan. If nothing else, he's become such a powerhouse star that his presence in a sequel would be a huge boost to the film's ticket sales. Bringing him back is just smart business at that point.
Plus, there are an infinite number of ways Killmonger could be brought back, one of which could be through whatever means the Avengers use to reverse Thanos's snap. Certainly crazier things have happened in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Disney could only gain from bringing back a dead character in this situation. This wouldn't just be fan service; resolving the political implications of the first movie could make a powerful statement for the sequel.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.