Black Panther 2 writer explains the significance of that big Marvel cameo

Letitia Wright as Shuri in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever co-writer Joe Robert Cole has talked about that surprise Marvel cameo and its significance. Before we go any further, though, a warning that the following will delve into major Black Panther 2 spoilers! Turn back now if you haven't seen the new movie! 

If you're still reading, then you know that Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger makes a return in the Ancestral Plane, after Shuri takes the Heart-Shaped Herb to become the new Black Panther

"We always wanted to have Michael return, and I feel like it was always going to be in the Ancestral Plane with Shuri having taken the potion," Cole told Rolling Stone, adding that the aim was to make the return part of Shuri's own arc in the film.

"Then if you think about it, [in the first movie] his journey was about vengeance as well, and anger and frustration," Cole said. "That's a part of what we tried to lay in with her early on, the anger of losing someone, the sense of loss. And then how losing her mother would escalate her feelings of wanting vengeance. We just tried to build on that, so that he is presenting her with a choice of: Is she going to move towards the direction that Killmonger would move? Or is she going to do something different? The idea was to successfully build the stakes for her so that would resonate. So it would feel earned that she would feel that sort of [yearning for] vengeance." 

Plus, Killmonger's return also tied in with Wakanda's shifting attitude toward the rest of the world, with Cole pointing out that Ramonda might not have saved Riri before Killmonger's arrival in Wakanda in Black Panther.  "So were able to make that scene not only relevant to Shuri's character, but also relevant to the nation of Wakanda," Cole commented.

Wakanda Forever is in theaters now. If you're up to speed on the movie, check out our spoilery deep dives on: 

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.