The upcoming Black Panther Blu-ray contains commentary from co-writer and director Ryan Coogler revealing what happened to the unseen mother of Erik Stevens (Michael B. Jordan), who evolves into the villainous "Killmonger."
The earliest moments of Black Panther, set in 1992 in Oakland, California, sees Wakandan prince N’Jobu (Sterling K. Brown) hash out a plan with a younger Zuri (Denzel Whitaker).
“The idea was when you see those guys talking over the paperwork in the beginning of the film, they're talking about a way to break her out of jail,” Coogler says (via THR). “The idea was they never got her out, and she passed away in prison, so Killmonger didn't come up with a mom either.”
Shortly after, N'Jobu is killed by his brother, King T'Chaka (Atandwa Kani), after it was discovered N'Jobu had conspired with Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) in the theft of Vibranium, Wakanda’s invaluable and prized resource, with the intention of supplying the oppressed with its near-infinite power.
A young Erik was left behind in Oakland as part of a cover up, a move that helped fuel his years-later quest for revenge against his cousin and new king of Wakanda, T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman).
Coogler mentions in the commentary track legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, of The Godfather and Apocalypse Now fame, saw an early cut of the Marvel Studios production and named the revelation around N'Jobu's true fate as his favorite moment of the film.
As an adult and now a dangerous and experienced killer, Killmonger finally makes his way to Wakanda to confront T'Challa and usurp the throne.
Killmonger, wielding the power of the Black Panther, then attempts to fulfill his father's mission and use Wakanda's extreme resources to make the then-reclusive nation the standing superpower of the world. Though his objective was ultimately thwarted by T'Challa and allies Okoye (Danai Gurira), Shuri (Letitia Wright), Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) and M'Baku (Winston Duke), Killmonger's actions helped convince the Wakandan king to unveil the technologically advanced nation to the world.
Black Panther releases to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD May 18th.