Why Was This Heartfelt Scene Cut from 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'?

'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
This cut scene from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever could have made us sob even more than we already did. 

As Black Panther: Wakanda Forever dominates box offices for a fourth week in a row, we can’t help but look back at the journey of the characters of Wakanda with fondness. With many new faces helping usher Black Panther into Phase Five, we had to say goodbye to those we loved in the MCU.

If you haven’t seen the film, then here is where I urge you to proceed with caution, because we will be getting into spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. 

Ready?

Angela Bassett, who is generating Oscar buzz for her performances as Queen Mother Ramonda in the film, recently shared her feelings about her character’s death during an upcoming episode of Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast. During the discussion, Bassett says she wasn’t happy when she first read the script by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole and revealed that a touching scene that would have moved audiences to tears was left on the cutting room floor. 

Let’s break it all down: 

Angela Bassett Talks Ramonda

When learning about her character’s harrowing death while reading the script for the first time, Bassett was “not happy.” 

“I was not pleased,” Bassett said. “I was so shocked. I was just mortified. You know, it’s like they gave you the greatest gift, and they snatched it away. Part of me was like, ‘Okay, don’t say anything, be strong.’ Then the other part of me was like, ‘I just got to let [Coogler and Cole] know. That I don’t like this at all—and why? And don’t do this.’”

Bassett’s love for Ramonda and the love felt for her throughout the movie is strong, and losing her alienates the audience and Shuri from what Wakanda and Black Panther used to be.

[T]hey always kill the heart and soul,” Bassett said. 

Helmed by Coogler, Wakanda Forever delivers a wrenching story of grief and reclamation as the Royal Family of Wakanda adjusts to a world without T’Challa. Shuri, who is reluctant to don the title of the Black Panther, is alienated and forced to examine her beliefs in science and her ancestors. 

'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Bassett’s character was the glue that held the story together after T’Challa’s death at the beginning of the film, but her death served as a point of no return for Shuri’s character. Truly, the heart and soul of Wakanda were extinguished to turn Shuri into a place where she was forced to make a choice. 

The death of a beloved character played by a beloved actor is always a hard choice to make, but it served the story in a unique and gut-wrenching way. Could Shuri have made the choices she made without Ramonda’s death? It is unknown since her mother’s death is the catalyst of Shuri’s final choice. 

Family dynamics can be tricky to navigate, but Marvel does not shy away from the subject of collective grief in the family. Shuri is not the only MCU character who was isolated and faced to deal with their family’s absence, with Hawkeye (Jeremy Reiner) taking on a morally gray persona in Avengers: Endgame and Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) navigating her grief in WandaVision

A character’s death in the MCU is an unfortunate and sometimes unnecessary story beat, but Bassett did an amazing job cementing herself as one of the best mothers in the MCU. 

'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Let’s Talk About the Cut Scene

During the interview, Bassett reveals that she shot a scene with the young actor Divine Love Konadu-Sun, who plays a character revealed during the mid-credit scene to be the son of T’Challa (the late Chadwick Boseman) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o). 

"I filmed a scene. I did, but you know—cutting room, readjusting and reshaping it,” Bassett said. 

Bassett recalls parts of the cut scene during the interview but stops short of going into the details. In the scene, Bassett reveals, “I went to Haiti, of course. I met him, I was introduced to him… but it wound up on the cutting room floor.” 

'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

We can only imagine the heartfelt moment of Ramonda meeting her grandson and his pride in Wakanda, with Bassett saying that Nakia introduces Ramonda to Toussaint as his “Nanna,” but it is understandable why the scene was cut. 

Mid-credit scenes have become a staple in Marvel’s movies. In Wakanda Forever’s mid-credit scene, Shuri (Letitia Wright) meets Toussaint, and he reveals to the audience who he is. Bassett explains that her scene with the young actor was cut “to make it a surprise for the audience and to Shuri. It was the right way to go. Perfect to go about it.” 

Maybe one day Disney will release the deleted scene between Bassett and Konadu-Sun, who Bassett describes as a “precious little angel,” and we can all cry together. 

What do you think of Bassett’s performance in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever? Let us know what you think in the comments!       

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