Heath Ledger's Joker has become a benchmark of sorts for all actors looking to portray supervillains on screen. And for good reason — the method actor knocked it out of the park with his menacing portrayal of the Batman villain and was awarded an Oscar for it.
No wonder some of the younger lot looks up to him for inspiration and reference. Black Panther villain Erik Killmonger took some inspiration from Ledger’s Joker as well as Michael Fassbender's impressive turn as Magneto in the X-Men movies — according to actor Michael B Jordan.
“You see performances as an actor, and as a fan – you look at Heath Ledger’s performance, say, in The Dark Knight, and it’s like, “Wow”. I want to try to get something like that. You want Michael Fassbender’s Magneto. Just trying to find my place amongst those roles, and strive for that, even if I don’t make it.”
Well, after working with an accomplished actor like Sylvester Stallone in Creed and now following the works of Ledger and Fassbender, the young actor definitely seems to be in good company.
Drawing inspiration from two of the most iconic superhero antagonists certainly sounds like a good approach for Jordan to take. Whereas Ledger’s Joker stands out purely for his magnetic (and evil) screen presence, Magneto, on the other hand, is more complex due to his troubled past.
While he has done a lot of unspeakable things, most of the time, Magneto comes around and opts to choose to do the right thing, especially when people that he cares about are in peril. Could this hint at a similar redemption arc for Killmonger in Black Panther?
Not much has been revealed about Jordan’s version of Killmonger yet; including, whether he will have the same backstory that he does in the comics.
It appears that he will have a personal grudge against Wakanda and its people, seeing as he teams up in the film with Andy Serkis’ Ulysses Klaue (whose main goal is to expose the country’s hypocrisy).
Judging by the Creed actor’s comments, it sounds like his character will also be a departure from the typical two-dimensional MCU villain. The actor said that the role took a toll on him emotionally and mentally, but that he had a lot of fun making it thanks to his great dynamic with lead actor Chadwick Boseman.
The upcoming solo Marvel superhero film stars Boseman as T’Challa, who fans first met back in Captain America: Civil War. The film will kickoff the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s monumental 10th year, at the same time that it pulls back the curtain on the high-tech nation of Wakanda and its people.
Jordan is Reuniting with director Ryan Coogler for the third time after their critically acclaimed collaborations on Fruitvale Station and Creed.
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