Ryan Coogler Finally Explains What Happened To Killmonger’s Mother in ‘Black Panther’

Black Panther smashed the box office record, raking in over a billion dollars since it hit theaters back in February. While fans are still making return trips to Wakanda, thanks to theaters still showing the film and Marvel’s latest hit, Avengers: Infinity War, the movie’s director just cleared up one big question: what happened to Killmonger’s mother?

In the opening scene of Black Panther, viewers are transported back to Oakland in the 1990s and see N’Jobu (Sterling K. Brown) and a young Zuri (Denzel Whitaker) plotting to distribute weapons to Black people in the diaspora to help fight against their oppression. When T’Chaka arrives, he chides his younger brother for his actions and kills N’Jobu.

The story of N’Jobu’s death remained a secret in Wakanda until T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) encounters a man with a matching ring and he learns it’s N’Jobu’s son, Erik Killmonger.

The death of Killmonger’s father sent him on a mission to reclaim what was stolen from him and carry out his father’s plan. While fans watched the duel between T’Challa and Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), many wondered what happened to his mother. Now, thanks to the DVD release of Black Panther, we finally know.

According to Ryan Coogler, Killmonger’s mother died in prison.

“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 said in the extras. “The idea was they never got her out and she passed away in prison, so Killmonger didn’t come up with a mom either.”

During the commentary, Coogler also revealed that The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola saw an early cut of the film, and of course, his favorite scene dealt with the family drama of what really happened to N’Jobu.

Black Panther will be available for digital download on May 8 and DVD/Blu-Ray on May 15.

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