Black Panther tells the story of Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa learning to step into his father’s shoes to be the king of Wakanda on his own terms. There are some bumps along the way thanks to Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger, who just so happens to be T’Challa’s cousin. Killmonger’s tragic storyline is told in the film, which is rooted in something real that audiences were instantly able to pick up on and relate to. Now, a Marvel Cinematic Universe fan has taken some Black Panther footage and reimagined it as a trailer to tell the story of Killmonger, and it works surprisingly well.
Killmonger was born Erik Stevens (born N’Jadaka) and is a former American black-ops soldier. His father, Prince N’Jobu, raised him in Oakland, California until he was killed by his brother, T’Chaka, who is also the father of T’Challa. N’Jobu was selling secrets and smuggling Vibranium out of Wakanda with the intention of allowing the oppressed to possess its power. Killmonger was left alone in Oakland with his dad’s diary while his mother was incarcerated. Already, the story of Killmonger would make for a great prequel to Black Panther.
There’s some footage from the aforementioned scenes, but it would be interesting to see how Erik Killmonger was able to pull himself up and stay motivated enough to get through college and graduate early. One can clearly see why his worldview is shaped the way that it is, though he ends up going about trying to start a revolution in the wrong way. The fan-made trailer for the Killmonger story also could have thrown in some of Everett K. Ross’ bio from Black Panther as well. He says.
“Graduated Annapolis aged nineteen, MIT for grad school. Joined the SEALs and went straight to Afghanistan, where he racked up confirmed kills like it was a video game. Started calling himself Killmonger. He joined a JSOC ghost unit, now these guys are serious, they would drop off the grid so they could commit assassinations and take down governments.”
In order to gain the trust of the Wakandans, Killmonger teams up with Ulysses Klaue to help steal an ancient weapon that contains Vibranium from a museum. Killmonger ends up betraying and killing Klaue, and bringing him back to Wakanda, a feat that T’Challa was not able to do, which brings Killmonger closer to taking over Wakanda as king. In actuality, all Killmonger wants to do is continue the quest that his father had laid out years before. We all know how his story ends in Black Panther, but this Killmonger trailer sparks some insight into what a full prequel could look like.
Marvel Studios is planning Black Panther 2, and Michael B. Jordan has said that he would love to return, but it isn’t clear how that would happen, unless he gets his own standalone project, like the fan-made trailer hints at. Looking at Black Panther through his perspective is an easy thing to do and it makes his outcome all the more tragic. While it seems unlikely that we’ll get to see another Black Panther movie through the eyes of Erik Killmonger, it is very interesting to think about. Watch the fan-made Killmonger trailer below, thanks to footage from Marvel.