Films

Why ‘Black Panther’ director Ryan Coogler cut out “one of the most well-acted scenes”

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Tom Victor
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black-panther

If anyone had their reservations about Black Panther before its release, the presence of Ryan Coogler as director ought to have put their minds at ease.

The 31-year-old showed his talent and versatility on previous releases Fruitvale Station and Creed, so we knew he was always going to be the right man for the job.

And so it proved, with Black Panther already among critics’ best-rated superhero movies and thriving at the box-office.

It has made a huge impact, with barely a moment of its 134-minute running time falling flat – but perhaps the best-acted scene of all didn’t even make the final cut.

Why ‘Black Panther’ director Ryan Coogler cut out “one of the most well-acted scenes”

Coogler and executive producer Nate Moore recently appeared on Empire’s podcast to discuss the film, and one of the main talking points was the relationship between W’Kabi (played by Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya) and Okoye (Danai Gurira).

The relationship between the pair is subtly hinted at throughout, but it is made more explicit in one scene – originally a key part of the narrative, but one which was left out for an important reason.

“So in the film it is more than hinted at that they’re a couple, but there is a scene directly after Killmonger takes the throne where you hear both characters articulate their point of view as to why they should or shouldn’t follow this man and it’s one of the most well-acted scenes I’ve ever been a part of,” Moore said, as transcribed by Gizmodo.

Why ‘Black Panther’ director Ryan Coogler cut out “one of the most well-acted scenes” 1

“Unfortunately it occurred at a point in the movie where audiences just wanted to get to the resolution and so it slowed down a part of the movie and we were afraid audiences were checking out.

“We were also afraid if we took it out we’re going to ruin this movie - ‘guys we’re going to ruin this movie; let’s not take it out’. We didn’t take it out for three or four screenings and we finally took it out and I think Ryan and I were probably the last men on that beach saying don’t take it out.”

Black Panther is already the highest-grossing film of 2018 so far, bringing in more than $460 million at the time of writing, and its $202 million US and Canada opening is the fifth-highest of all time.

And there is some good news about the deleted scene – it will feature among the extras when the film is released on DVD, meaning you’ll be able to put that ‘one of the most well-acted scenes’ claim to the test.

(Images: Matt Kennedy/Marvel/Rex)