When Black Panther premiered in theaters last year, it introduced one of the most effective and cutthroat villains who's not nicknamed "the Mad Titan" into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Erik Killmonger. The renegade Wakandan royal engineered an coup d'etat and nearly killed T'Challa before he was finally laid to rest by the rightful ruler of the African kingdom. It's no wonder that fans are hopeful to see him again in a future Marvel Studios film.
And while rumors abound that writer and director Ryan Coogler plans to bring back Killmonger in Black Panther 2, possibly in the Ancestral Plane where T'Challa communicates with his ancestors, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige has confirmed that is not the case.
"Pure rumor," Feige stated to BET. Ouch.
He went on to add that so far, nothing is in the table because Coogler has not yet even put the pen to paper for the story of Black Panther 2.
"The honest answer to that is that is pure rumor and speculation, because Mr. Coogler is just only in recent weeks sitting down at his keyboard and beginning to outline the movie," explained Feige. "It's early, so nothing is set yet in any way that far, because Mr. Coogler is sitting down and will share it with [producer] Nate Moore and myself in coming weeks."
These rumors have been going around for a while, even perpetuated by the stars of the film. Danai Gurira and Kilmmonger actor Michael B. Jordan jokingly talked about it with Variety earlier this year.
"Killmonger comes back," Gurira said with a laugh, prompting Jordan to get in on the fun.
"You did it now," he added.
Jordan has previously spoken at length about the intense training process for playing Killmonger, revealing that he even had to seek mental help in order to process his emotions while acting in the role.
"It was one of those things that I didn't know what was going on," Jordan said on The Bill Simmons Podcast. "I never was in a character for that long of a period of time and was, I guess, that dark, that lonely, that painful. So coming out of it, I thought, 'Oh yeah, business as usual. I can just go back home, I'll cut my hair off, and everything will be back to normal.'"
"I found myself kind of in the routine of being isolated and went out of my way to make sure I was by myself and didn't say too much more than the usual," Jordan added. "Once I got finished wrapping the movie, it took me some time to talk through how I was feeling and why I was feeling so sad and like a little bit depressed."
Maybe we'll see see more of Killmonger in Black Panther 2, depending on what Coogler decides to do with the story. The upcoming film does not yet have a release date.