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Ryan Coogler Answers the Question: Who is Black Panther’s Erik Killmonger?

Ryan Coogler might be one of the most excited men in the business right now. There are just weeks left until the debut of Black Panther, the film he directed about one of MCU’s biggest heroes. Making his debut in Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa was a stand-out character already and his stand-alone film will only serve to solidify his place in the MCU.

With every great hero comes a great villain, and Ryan Coogler spoke with Fandango about Black Panther’s. Erik Killmonger is T’Challa’s biggest opposition, but it’s not in a superhuman and born of evil way.

So will Killmonger be a type of villain we have a soft spot for? Only time will tell but Coogler’s description of him does make us consider it already.

I will say what makes him different — not from all Marvel villains, but I think a lot of Marvel villains — is that he has a real-world sensibility to him. I think it’s a benefit of having Mike as an actor, but he’s a character that I think will feel very familiar to audiences. I think Marvel has had villains who you can relate to, but I think even more than that, you feel like he’s of this world. He’s very grounded, I would say.

That being said, we love T’Challa and what he stands for so we don’t expect to leave the theater chanting Killmonger or anything, but we can anticipate leaving with an understanding of who he is and why.

Black Panther hits theaters on February 16th and tickets are on sale now.

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