Avengers: Endgame packs a lot of fan-pleasing moments into its three-hour runtime, but in order to keep the Infinity War sequel from putting an even bigger strain on audience’s bladders, it was inevitable that some footage would be left on the cutting room floor. And according to editor Jeff Ford, that meant reducing the screen time for Black Panther’s climactic fight scene.
Speaking to /Film, the regular Russo Brothers collaborator recalled how a recently resurrected T’Challa was originally supposed to have a lengthier clash with one of Thanos’ toughest minions:
“We didn’t really shuffle it around a lot. I remember we did have a much more elaborate sequence with [Thanos’s henchman, Ebony] Maw. His battle with Panther was longer. I remember we took it down because when they come through the portals, they kind of introduce all these characters into the story that haven’t been in the movie yet…Panther and Maw felt like, that’s not the story that we’re tracking, so maybe we reduce that stuff.
“We ended up making sure we had a cool shot of Panther, but it was like, ‘Let’s make sure that every moment we engage in that section needs to lead us to that final confrontation with Tony and Thanos.’ So there were a few things we reduced there for that reason.”
Though most fans probably wouldn’t complain too hard about seeing more from Chadwick Boseman’s character, the omission is understandable, seeing how Avengers: Endgame has enough on its plate handling the emotional arcs of the various snap survivors. All the same, it’s interesting to note that while Captain Marvel also wasn’t a member of the film’s core team, Ford recalls in the same interview that her screen time at the climax was actually extended during reshoots to include her brawl with Thanos.
Regardless, given that Black Panther currently stands as the MCU’s highest-grossing solo movie to date, we can expect to see plenty more of T’Challa in future projects. For one thing, Black Panther 2 is scheduled for release on May 6th, 2022, and while we still have much to learn about the movie, the fact that Ryan Coogler is returning to direct has ensured the sequel will be arriving in theaters with more than its share of hype behind it
In the meantime, Marvel’s Phase 4 kicks off with the release of Black Widow on May 1st, 2020.