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"Black Panther": Coogler Explains the Heart-Breaking Fate of Killmonger's Mother


Erik "Killmonger" Stevens, played by Michael B. Jordan, has the most tragic back-story in MCU history but it just got sadder. He grew up in the streets of Oakland California and his father was killed after the king of Wakanda, discovered he betrayed Wakanda. This left him a fatherless boy nursing a grudge and vowing revenge against the African nation. But what about his mother?

We know from the movie that N'Jobu (Sterling K. Brown) falls in love with a woman in Oakland and they have a child. It's N'Jonu's love for Erik's mother that makes him decide that Wakanda should be helping the world.

The opening scene in 1992 shows N'Jobu and a younger version of Forest Whitaker's character, Zuri, making a plan in an Oakland apartment. "If we get in and out quick, won't be no worries," he says before outlining the plan to drive a set of vans around. The two are interrupted by the arrival of the king and his entourage.

What were they doing? The Hollywood Reporter gave a report on the commentary track for the Black Panther Blu-ray. In it, director Ryan Coogler explains what was happening off-screen.

"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 explains. "The idea was they never got her out, and she passed away in prison, so Killmonger didn't come up with a mom either."

So not only did Killmonger lose his father to Wakanda he also lost his mother. T'Chaka couldn't have known this was going to happen and he certainly didn't intend to orphan a child. But it does give new meaning to Killmonger's bitterness and single-minded drive to destroy Wakanda.

"Black Panther" will be available on digital May 8 and disk May 15.


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