Many who have seen Black Panther are calling Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger one of the best villains in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and they're praising Andy Serkis' portrayal of Ulysses Klaue.
Little did we all know, director Ryan Coogler originally had plans to introduce a third villain into the mix. If it wasn't for the issue of ownership rights, Kraven the Hunter could have appeared in Black Panther.
While speaking with Yahoo! Movies UK, Coogler was asked about fitting in with the overall vision of the MCU, and he said that he didn't run into any problems with what Marvel had planned for Infinity War.
"No, not at all. That never happened. It was possible, maybe if I wanted to kill T'Challa or something," Coogler said. "But nothing I wanted to do creatively came into conflict with that Joe and Anthony [Russo] were doing with their film - and I wasn't encouraged to do anything that strayed away from that by the studio either. It was a beautiful situation."
As he continued, Coogler revealed that one of the only things he couldn't do was include Kraven the Hunter, since the he falls under the category of "Spider-Man villains" and Sony still controls the rights to any of those characters.
“Being a Marvel fan, you want to grab all the characters," the director said. "You realise there’s contractual things. You don’t have that character. There was a Christopher Priest run that was pretty heavy, there’s a big scene where Panther’s fighting Kraven, Kraven the Hunter.
“I’ve always loved Kraven the Hunter in almost every iteration. So there was a moment – ‘Can I grab Kraven?’ – and they were ‘Nah, you don’t have Kraven.’ He was one where I thought ‘Oh, man.’ But I don’t even know if he would have worked in the movie we ended up with, this was the early days.”
Unfortunately, Kraven the Hunter wasn't able to be in the film, but it doesn't sound like his character was even that necessary in the first place. Perhaps, now that Sony and Marvel have a deal to use Spider-Man in the MCU, Coogler can harness the villain in the Black Panther sequel.
Coogler's Black Panther is set to hit theaters on February 16.