Black Panther was full of memorable characters brought to life with great performances, and just one of the many that fans responded to was Andy Serkis as the villainous Ulysses Klaue. Looking like he relished not playing a CG creation for once, Serkis did his best to chew as much of the Wakandan scenery as possible in his second appearance in the MCU, after cameoing in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.
It came as a bit of blow, then, when Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger murdered the Vibranium smuggler halfway through Black Panther‘s runtime. It was a completely necessary move for the film itself, as Killmonger needed to be established as the baddest of the bad, but it’s a shame that it cost us more of Klaue. We never even got to listen to his mixtape on SoundCloud!
But hey, this is the Marvel universe, where anything can happen, right? So is Klaw really dead? Well, yeah, apparently. At least according to Black Panther producer Nate Moore. He told ComicBook.com that Klaue’s death was in play from the early stages of the movie and confirmed that he’s 100% kicked the bucket.
He even speculated that this might have been part of the appeal of the character for Serkis, who has a long history of being tied down to various franchises for multiple installments. It must have been a novelty to bow out so soon, then.
“[The decision] was made pretty early on because we knew ultimately that more than Ulysses Klaw, Killmonger was the main villain of the film. And he’s actually dead. He’s dead, dead. Which I think, honestly, was part of the sell for Andy in going, ‘Oh, I get to play this character that gets to sort of shine very brightly and burn out quickly. Well, that’s kind of fun.’ And we only like to tell as much story as we have for a character and I’m not sure how much other story we would have for Klaw, but we were still lucky to have Andy involved.”
We can understand this decision, but with both Klaue and Killmonger both out of the equation by the end of the movie, that wipes out T’Challa’s two biggest nemeses from the comics in one fell swoop. So, who could the villain be for Black Panther 2? Well, that we don’t know, but it’s possible the franchise might have to pinch antagonists from other properties, as director Ryan Coogler has talked about his interest in adapting Spider-Man foe Kraven the Hunter.