Kendrick Lamar may have curated the soundtrack for Black Panther, but he wants to be more visible when the sequel rolls around, and has a specific role in mind.
Speaking to Radio 1, the Grammy-winner (and recent victim of ITV’s questionable censorship policy) mentioned that he was eyeing up a role in the all-but-guaranteed followup to the box-office smash and critical darling. He’d like to play a morally ambiguous baddie along the lines of Erik Killmonger, portrayed by Michael B. Jordan in the first film.
“He was a villain but he was loved and misunderstood,” he said. “So if I could, I’d play a Killmonger for sure.” Killmonger is a more nuanced villain than most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s fist-clenching lizard people, and Jordan has been highly acclaimed for his performance.
It’s easy to imagine Lamar making the step into acting - he’s charismatic as hell, the intensity with which he performs would totally translate to the big screen, and it’s not as if he’d get stage fright.
He could totally play a morally conflicted villain, determined he was doing everything for the greater good but trampling people in the process. He’s also bezzie mates with Black Panther director Ryan Coogler thanks to his work on the first film, so could probably skip a reasonable amount of the audition process.
(You know what would be fun? If he then became a full-time actor and was cast in a film with Anna Kendrick, they could put the words ‘Anna’ and ‘Lamar’ small on the poster and ‘Kendrick’ massive in the middle, as long as she had the larger role anyway.)
Black Panther 2 hasn’t been confirmed yet, but with the near-universal critical acclaim (97% on Rotten Tomatoes) and big-ass box-office bucks ($476 million and counting, with all signs pointing to an eventual billion-plus take) it seems like a given.
Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige has said that if there’s a sequel he’d like Coogler to return, and Coogler in turn has said that he’s like to see how Chadwick Boseman’s character, Black Panther himself, T’Challa, grows during his reign as king of Wakanda.