Ryan Coogler Addresses Bucky’s Absence From Black Panther

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Spoilers to follow…

Barring that teasing post-credits scene, Bucky Barnes was a complete no-show during Marvel’s Black Panther movie. And really, that’s okay.

The man formerly known as the Winter Soldier would have been little more than a distraction from T’Challa’s solo adventure, and that aforementioned credits scene was enough to court Bucky back to the fray in time for Avengers: Infinity War. We have Shuri (Letitia Wright) to thank for his recovery, one which seemingly involved creating a one-to-one digital copy of his brain in order to erase all traces of HYRDA.

But when it comes to the decision to leave Bucky Barnes by the wayside during Black Panther, Ryan Coogler, the film’s director, outlined his reasoning as so:

That 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.

Frankly, Bucky is in no fit state to be fighting alongside T’Challa – not yet, at least – and during his appearance on the Empire Podcast, Coogler noted that Sebastian Stan’s Marvel character still needs some “spiritual guidance” before he can return to the battlefield.

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. We were like, ‘I don’t know if we can do that.’

With more than $426 million already in the Wakandan bank, Black Panther has cemented its status as a box office monster. It’s a success story that brought Ryan Coogler to tears, too, and though Marvel is yet to announce anything official, the director is surely weighing up a potential return to Wakanda in the not-so-distant future. Watch this space for more.

Source: Empire

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