Raw Leiba Confirms Meeting With Marvel To Discuss BLACK PANTHER Villain Role
Last year Coventry Telegraph reported that reported that actor and stuntman Raw Leiba had met with Marvel about playing Black Panther's nemesis Erik Killmonger. Now the actor has confirmed the meeting and shares some details about what took place.
In a recent interview with worldofsuperheroes.com actor/stuntman Raw Leiba (Conan, Game of Thrones) confirms that he met with Marvel about playing The Black Panther's nemesis, Erik Killmonger.
Raw Leiba: Well, it really all started with a visit to Marvel, they knew about me, but it was being there at Marvel talking to the artist and the wonderful people that work there and Marvel getting that opportunity to see me in person that put me in this position, that was a combination of some really good people at Marvel and some good folks at ESPN, Including my friend ESPN’S Kenny Mayne. So myself and my Manager Charlie Wright went up there then after that truth took over and Marvel saw for themselves.
Infact one of the first things they mentioned, that I have, was how I look exactly like the character but it takes more than just looking like Killmonger you have to BE Killmonger. Having the acting experience coupled with all the athletic and fighting skill needed for the role, having trained with the world famous Gracie family in the art Brazilian Ju-Jitsu (Leiba has Brazilian, Native American, and African American roots) for many years and the stunt and stage combat experience made the process easier , so I knew when Marvel got the opportunity to see that it was gonna be a good thing.
It’s funny I had DC Comic executive tell me a few years back at Comic Con “If Marvel ever does Black Panther you’d have to be Killmonger or it aint real”, I laughed at the time, but here we are.
He then goes discusses what it would mean to him if he landed the role.
Raw Leiba: It would mean a lot, obviously Marvel is a fantastic enterprise and to have the opportunity to have a major role in any Marvel movie is a blessing. But people say to me “Raw you can be the lead superhero in some movie at some point why don’t you wait for a title character spot?” and I respond “Hey Idris Elba isn’t “the lead “in Thor but he played a fantastic character and Samuel L Jackson is a great Nick Fury, these opportunities are few and far between, so I’m blessed to be in this position.”
He is quick to point out that Killmonger has a relationship with X-Men's Storm in the comic books, and jokingly adds that it would be nice to share a kissing scene with Halle Berry. He then switches gears, becoming more serious as he explains why the role intrigues him.
Raw Leiba: what I love about Killmonger is that he’s a master tactician, with great military skill and great at hand to hand combat, I love all of that about him, now I don’t know what writer Mark Bailey has in store for the character, but I’m sure it’s gonna be awesome.
Image Courtesy of CoventryTelegraph.net
A native of Wakanda, he was born under the name N'Jadaka. When Ulysses Klaw and his mercenaries attacked Wakanda, they press-ganged N'Jadaka's father into helping them; when Klaw was defeated, the father died and his family was exiled. N'Jadaka ended up in Harlem, New York, nursing a hatred against the supervillain and T'Challa, the king who'd exiled him. He changed his name to Erik Killmonger and studied at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, desperate to avenge his father's death.
He eventually contacted King T'Challa and was repatriated back to Wakanda, settling in a village that would later change its name to N'Jadaka Village in his honour. He became a subversive, with dreams of ridding Wakanda of what he termed "white colonialist" cultural influences and return it entirely to its ancient ways. He then took advantage of the Black Panther's frequent absences in America with the Avengers to stage a coup d'état, along with Baron Macabre. He was defeated and killed, until the Mandarin claimed his body.
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