Warning. Spoilers for Marvel’s Black Panther follow…
As Black Panther continues to tear up the box office going into its second weekend, director Ryan Coogler has been chatting to Empire (via Collider) about his original plans for the ending of the Marvel blockbuster. The filmmaker has revealed that the movie was going to close with T’Challa at the United Nations, but the decision was made to shift it to the credits in order to focus on scene of the kids playing basketball in Oakland.
“It was [almost the ending],” said Coogler. “We played with a lot of different ways to end it. We went back and forth about the U.N., and we had a version where it was the U.N. before the scenes in Oakland at the end. But we really kind of settled on how do we want the movie to end? And it came back to that symmetry, and it came back to the most moving version of it. That’s what we were asking ourselves, ‘Who’s more moved emotionally, that kid or the people sitting in the U.N.?’ Who is that a bigger deal to for T’Challa to walk in, who’s more connected to him? As a kid, growing up, when you see somebody who looks like an older version of you doing something awesome, it’s like, ‘What’s going on?’ That’s kind of what that moment… We kind of went with the less distilled emotion, and the U.N. makes sense afterwards for where Wakanda could be going in the future of this universe.”
Coogler also went on to discuss why Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes was absent from the movie until the final post-credit scene, rather than showing up to assist T’Challa during his battle with Erik Killmonger and W’Kabi’s men:
“[A Bucky scene] was something that was always—it was a Shuri thing, because in our world we kind of figured that Bucky Barnes would be her assignment. We kind of drop the hint at that when they bring Ross in and she’s like, ‘Oh another one.’ So we dropped hints in there, but what we kind of decided was that her cracking his mental code, if Shuri’s as smart as she is, that wouldn’t really be a big problem. But Bucky would have horrible PTSD, he would need spiritual guidance. The last thing he would need to do is jump into that Civil War, and so that was kind of the thought process there. And it could be potentially problematic if it’s a bunch of Africans fighting and you bring in a White dude, he comes in shootin’ people (laughs). We were aware of that. Bucky’s not trained to neutralize people peacefully, he’s an assassin…”
After the events of Captain America: Civil War, King T’Challa returnsohome to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country’s new leader. However, T’Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakandan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.
Black Panther sees Ryan Coogler (Creed) directing Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa alongside Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Winston Duke as M’Baku, Forest Whitaker as Zuri, Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Florence Kasumba as Ayo, Martin Freeman as Everett Ross, Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Sterling K. Brown as N’Jobu, John Kani as King T’Chaka and Nabiyah Be as Linda.