Marvel Fans Shouldn’t Expect Michael B. Jordan to Return Anytime Soon

With $1.3 billion in the bank, including $700 million in the US alone, a Black Panther sequel is a given. Marvel has not announced its next lineup of movies yet, but it’s widely expected that we can visit Wakanda again sometime in 2021.

However, one person who will almost certainly not be returning is Michael B. Jordan, who played the memorable villain Killmonger. And it’s not just because (spoiler alert) his character died at the end of the movie. As we all know, death tends not to stick in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Here’s what we can expect from Marvel and director Ryan Coogler, who is working on the script. 

Michael B. Jordan
Michael B. Jordan | Tommaso Boddi/FilmMagic

Why Michael B. Jordan’s return would be unlikely

Marvel could bring back Killmonger if they really wanted to. After all, half our heroes got dusted in Avengers: Infinity War and then came back in Avengers: Endgame to march to victory. For better or worse, logic is nothing if not elastic in stories adapted from comic books. 

Castmates Angela Bassett and husband Courtney B. Vance sparked the speculation at the Screen Actors Guild Awards earlier this year, where the actors won the Best Ensemble award.

When asked if the cast would return for the sequel, Bassett who plays Black Panther’s mother, responded, “I would assume so.” Vance added, “Yes, just go ahead and say it, yes! Everyone will be there, including Michael B.”

However, Marvel realizes that just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Marvel’s creative chief Kevin Feige didn’t flat out tell BET that Killmonger wouldn’t come back, but he sure made it sound unlikely.

“Pure rumor. 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. It’s early, so nothing is set yet in any way that far, because Mr. Coogler is sitting down and will share it with Nate Moore and myself in coming weeks.”

While Marvel has not announced the names of their upcoming movies, but there are dates set, and one of those is Feb. 12, 2021. It would make sense for Black Panther 2 to land there since the original movie also came out in February. 

What made Killmonger so compelling

There’s a quote attributed to several people that “Every great villain is the hero of his own story.” This could apply to Heath Ledger’s Joker or Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2, and it’s true of Killmonger too. In the best examples, what this means is that the villain is not entirely wrong. 

A lot of movie villains are megalomaniacs bent on world domination, such as any number of James Bond’s or Superman’s bad guys. However, the most compelling villains are often the ones who aren’t just madmen.

Sure, the Joker is psychotic, but he has a point that he and Batman are two sides of the same coin, and that one could very easily become the other. In Spider-Man 2, Doctor Octopus does terrible things, but they’re driven partly by grief over the death of his wife. 

In Black Panther, Killmonger, who is Black Panther’s cousin, was abandoned and left as an orphan by Black Panther’s father. Killmonger’s father wanted to distribute the powerful energy Vibranium to help other black people, but when Black Panther’s father was king, he pushed back against this idea, saying it would make Wakanda unsafe. 

“Two billion people all over the world who look like us whose lives are much harder, and Wakanda has the tools to liberate them all,” Killmonger asserts to the Wakandan court. “Where was Wakanda?”

Killmonger’s methods are certainly questionable, but he was truly wronged, and he has a point that Wakanda should share its resources – which is what happens in the end.

Why Jordan shouldn’t return

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Bringing Killmonger back could be compelling, but it would also be Marvel repeating itself. As similar as the movies are, the villains are usually different in the sequel to the standalone films.

Besides that, Killmonger’s story is done, and there’s nowhere for that character to go. 

The original took its toll on Michael B. Jordan, so despite what Vance said, he might not be so eager to return. He told USA Today, “It was a little tough for me at first… Readjusting to people caring about me, getting that love that I shut out. I shut out love, I didn’t want love. I wanted to be in this lonely place as long as I could.”