Black Panther actor Michael B. Jordan hopes Hollywood’s new openness to diversity will allow him to star in his own original projects.
Michael got his big break in the TV series The Wire before starring in the critically acclaimed 2013 movie Fruitvale Station and is playing the villain, Erik ‘Killmonger’ Stevens in Marvel’s latest superhero movie Black Panther.
The film is the first comic book blockbuster to feature a mostly African–American cast, and Michael feels that Hollywood executives are finally giving black actors, writers, and directors the chance to shine.
The 30-year-old actor tells the Wall Street Journal, “It’s the best time to be a person of color in Hollywood who’s creative and has original projects. Everybody wants that right now. That’s how I feel – I feel like it’s a timing thing. I’m ambitious.”
Looking to his own future ambitions, he adds, “I see what actors I look up to have, the types of platforms they have and their ability to create and tell stories they want – I want that. Why not?”
Michael has already started making good on his aspiration to be more than just an actor, as he has three TV projects in the works as a producer.
Black Panther, which features Chadwick Boseman as the titular hero, looks set to be a major hit at the box office. Entertainment lawyer Darrell Miller, who represents one of the movie’s stars Angela Bassett, believes the film’s likely success could boost black film stars’ bargaining power.
“People of color concede (in negotiations) quicker because they infrequently get golden opportunities,” Darrell tells The Hollywood Reporter. “The issue goes to the lack of diversity in the content being made. When there’s more, that shifts the ability to have real leverage for people who are fortunate enough to be there the one year they’re making Black Panther.”
Angela plays Ramonda, the stepmother of T’Challa, the African prince whose alter-ego is the Black Panther, in the film – which also stars Lupita Nyong’o, Forest Whitaker, and Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya.
Black Panther is released on 12 February (18).