As a matter of fact, according to Michael Shawver, the standalone pic almost included another two “incredible” scenes involving The Walking Dead‘s Danai Gurira (Okoye) and Daniel Kaluuya (W’Kabi). Not only that, but Black Panther initially featured an additional exchange between T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and his surrogate father, Zuri (Forest Whitaker), that was “painful” to cut.
Up first, the scene between Okoye and W’Kabi, the two star-crossed lovers of Black Panther who find themselves on opposite ends of the battlefield once Wakanda succumbs to a civil war of its own. And as Shawver tells The Wrap, it was a rather emotional one:
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. At that point in the movie, it’s about two thirds through, and that’s when most movies drag. Ours was taking a while to get to that point.
It’s by no means the first time that this deleted scene has been thrust into the spotlight, either, given Marvel producer Nate Moore told Empire that it was nixed in the name of pacing.
As for that second scene between T’Challa and Zuri, Shawver continued:
There’s a scene between Chadwick and Forest’s characters which sets up their relationship. It sort of lets you attach yourself to their father-son dynamic so that later on in the film… you really feel more.
Each vignette will be bundled in with Black Panther‘s inevitable Blu-ray, which will likely be with us just after the release of Avengers: Infinity War late next month.