Michael B. Jordan is feeling under pressure to make sure the forthcoming Black Panther blockbuster doesn't bomb because the superhero is so significant to black culture.
The Creed star has been cast as the movie's villain, Erik Killmonger, opposite Chadwick Boseman as the titular comic book character - the first mainstream black superhero, and although writer/director Ryan Coogler is still working on the screenplay, Jordan is confident it will meet fans' expectations.
"I haven't read the script yet, but from what I know the story is going to be pretty good," the actor told E! News.
And Michael admits devotees' expectations are weighing more heavily on him than they did with Rocky spin-off Creed, because the Black Panther story is one fans are very familiar with.
"(I'm feeling the pressure because of) the history of who the character is, what he represents and all the good will that's out there towards him," he said, while promoting the film at Comic-Con in San Diego, California over the weekend (23-24Jul16).
"With Creed it was met with, 'Oh, man do we need another Rocky movie? What is this?' There was a little apprehension, which actually takes some of the pressure off," Michael explained. "With this, most people are excited about it. You have positive feelings towards it. You want to let that pressure motivate you, but at the same time you don't want it to knock you over to the point that you can't focus what's in front of you."
To prepare for the project, which begins shooting in January (17), Jordan reveals he has already started hitting the gym to really bulk up.
"I'm in the process right now, about six months out," he commented. "I'm eating tons of carbs, lifting. When we get close to the date I'll start to shred down a little but the goal is to be bigger than Creed."
Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o and The Walking Dead star Danai Gurira have also joined the movie's cast.
Black Panther is set for release in February, 2018.