Black Panther’s star Michael B. Jordan had tweeted six years ago about how he “would love” to be a part of the MCU as the superhero King of Wakanda.
This tweet dated June 8, 2012, was unearthed by some fans on Reddit.
“Marvel’s black panther,” the tweet mentioned, “Would love to go toe to toe with iron man and the hulk! Def would be a dream role.”
Back then Jordan had starred in a small budget found-footage project Chronicle, where he played a high school going teenager who got superpowers. He had tweeted that after The Avengers released by Marvel Studios in May that year.
Jordan then played Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch, in the Fox’s much-criticized Fantastic Four reboot made by Chronicle’s director Josh Trank. Fant4stic made Jordan seek redemption in a superhero project.
“I’m a geek, I love this world,” Jordan informed the journos visiting the Black Panther set. Despite the disaster of Fant4stic, Jordan said he had “zero hesitations” about joining his Fruitvale Station and Creed director Ryan Coogler for Black Panther. “I love being able to play in that fantastic kind of space, I looked at it kind of like it’s another shot and to get it right, to do it again,” Jordan said. “And especially with the team [cinematographer Rachel Morrison] again and Ryan, it’s just a very, very comfortable space for me. So it was the perfect space for me to take another risk like this, so it was no hesitation on that part.”
While he couldn’t play the desired role of Black Panther as that role had been given to Chadwick Boseman, he put on the costume of the villain Erik Killmonger Stevens, who plans to take over the Wakandan throne and the powers of the Wakanda’s superhero protector.
He admitted that the intricate role made him experience darkness, and he stated that his portrayal of the professional assassin hung on to him later as well.
He was inspired by the iconic performance of Heath Ledger as Joker in The Dark Knight, and he said that Ledger’s work set the bar for villains from comic book films and he wanted to depict some of that “controlled rage.”
“The villains that are the most fun to watch for me are the ones that you can empathize with, you kind of know where they’re coming from; you can see their point of view,” Jordan said. “I tried to bring that groundedness to Killmonger.”
Black Panther opened earlier in February to immense critical and box office success. The movie has earned over $700 million since its release on February 16 and is still playing strongly in theaters.