Killmonger terrorized Wakanda back in 2018, but by the end of the film, he had succumbed to injuries—despite that, fans have clamored for more of the character in the MCU ever since. And now, his re-arrival was explained.
As fate would have it, Michael B. Jordan was able to make a small appearance in Wakanda Forever despite being dead.
While the sequence itself wasn’t long, it was an extremely important one.
But why exactly did Marvel choose to use Killmonger in that way?
Why Shuri Finds Killmonger in Black Panther 2
Moore noted how it was “a pivotal moment in the film” and that Jordan himself “was really interested in coming back:”
“It’s a pivotal moment in the film. I think it speaks it Shuri’s state of mind when she takes the heart-shaped herb. And I think while it’s not what she wanted, maybe it was what she needed. Michael [B. Jordan] was really interested in coming back to portray Killmonger and especially when Ryan [Coogler] pitched him as to how it would express itself.”
The producer noted that after the loss of Chadwick Boseman, Jordan being a part of Wakanda Forever “was important for him:”
“[He] thought it felt fitting both narratively and, also again, you know he also suffered the same loss that we all did. So, to be able to participate in this film, which hopefully can be cathartic for audiences, was important for him. And he’s such a dynamic actor that while he’s not in the movie a lot, his impact is obviously felt, and he’s such a great partner, so it was great to have him back on set.“
A Perfect Use of Killmonger
While there were many ways Michael B. Jordan’s villain could have been used poorly in the sequel, it’s safe to say that Ryan Coogler found the perfect way of utilizing the character once again.
The choice of having Shuri meet Killmonger instead of her loved ones was perfect narratively.
At the time, as Killmonger himself pointed out, Shuri was backsliding, becoming more like Erik than she would ever admit. Thankfully, by the end of the film, she kept from reaching his low points—but it was close.
Many wanted Jordan’s former villain to have a redemption arc and become the new Black Panther in T’Challa’s stead. Needless to say, that’d likely feel awkward, and it almost certainly wouldn’t have landed as well as Shuri’s journey did.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now streaming on Disney+.