During a recent interview with Empire, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler and executive producer Nate Moore revealed how the former originally submitted the film to Marvel as a four-hour cut. The cut was then condensed to the two-hour feature that appeared on screen.
The pair also opened up about one deleted scene in particular that they fought hard to keep in the final draft. Be warned, there are spoilers ahead.
While the central plot circles around T'challa and Nakia, a more understated yet important relationship occurs between Okoye and W’Kabi. According to Moore, a scene featuring Okoye and W’Kabi discussing their conflicting views about Killmonger that would have both emphasized their relationship and foreshadowed their showdown was taken out. Here's what he said on Empire’s podcast:
"So in the film it is more than hinted at that they’re a couple, but there is a scene directly after Killmonger takes the throne where you hear both characters articulate their point of view as to why they should or shouldn’t follow this man and it’s one of the most well-acted scenes I’ve ever been a part of.
"Unfortunately it occurred at a point in the movie where audiences just wanted to get to the resolution and so it slowed down a part of the movie and we were afraid audiences were checking out. We were also afraid if we took it out we’re going to ruin this movie—‘guys we’re going to ruin this movie; let’s not take it out.’ We didn’t take it out for three or four screenings and we finally took it out and I think Ryan and I were probably the last men on that beach saying don’t take it out."
While fans may be disappointed that the scene was axed, Moore did reveal that it will be a part of Black Panther’s extras upon its DVD release. Until then, make sure you go cop a ticket to see Marvel's Black Panther in theaters now.
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