Black Panther editor Michael Shawver has opened up on a key deleted scene featured Okoye and W’Kabi. It’s fair to say Black Panther has become a full-blown phenomenon at this point. The movie was already highly anticipated after the character’s introduction in Captain America: Civil War, but Black Panther just continues to smash through records left and right. It’s already topped a $1 billion worldwide, its currently Marvel’s freshest rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s the MCU’s most successful solo superhero adventure and it’s even passed The Dark Knight at the box office.
Audiences instantly fell in love with the characters of Black Panther and the world of Wakanda. The film also featured Marvel’s strongest villain to date with Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger, whose sympathetic backstory adds some much-needed nuance. The movie also took its time to develop the characters and story, with the action setpieces playing a secondary role.
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One subplot that felt a little underdeveloped was the supposed romance between Danai Gurira’s Okoye and Daniel Kaluuya’s W’Kabi, which is never given room to breathe in the story. It turns out a key scene between them was cut from the second act, with Black Panther editor Michael Shawver explaining to The Wrap it was easily the most difficult scene to trim, but in terms of pacing it just didn’t fit.
Hands down the most painful scene to cut was [one] with Danai Gurira and Daniel Kaluuya. Toward the end, after things go bad and Killmonger is in control and all that, we’re talking about, what are they going to do? What is Wakanda going to become?
Those are two powerhouse actors and it was an incredible scene with so many layers to it — boyfriend and girlfriend, it was general and her advisor, all those things. That was painful.
Another deleted moment that didn’t make the cut was one involving T’Challa and Forest Whitaker’s Zuri that strengthened the almost father-son like relationship between them, but it was another scene lost to pacing. Shawver expects both sequences to make their way to the home entertainment releases of Black Panther.
It’s a shame the Okoye and W’Kabi scene had to go since it’s one area of the story that felt like it was missing a key beat. It’s easy to forget as Black Panther moves along there’s even supposed to be an emotional link between the two, and sadly neither Gurira or Kaluuya have a lot of screentime together. That said, there’s a lot happening in the story around the midway mark, so it probably just didn’t work in terms of rhythm.
Needless to say, a Black Panther sequel is already in development, with T’Challa and Wakanda playing a key role in the forthcoming Avengers: Infinity War. Kevin Feige has even labeled Wakanda an ‘anchor point‘ for the MCU moving forward.
More: Forest Whitaker Reveals How Zuri Could Return For Black Panther 2
Source: The Wrap