“It was the worst movie of all time”: Ryan Coogler says these two scenes from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” saved the Marvel movie from disaster!
Despite the complications that the production of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever suffered following the death of Chadwick Boseman, Ryan Coogler and his team managed to pull off a befitting sequel to an acclaimed first installment, the creative process of which was not restful and has had its share of trial and error. As Espinof reports, it was in the film’s audio commentary that the director highlighted this fact, talking about the status of alternate scenes and incomplete projects.
According to Ryan Coogler, the film has two scenes without which the end result would have been a real disaster: the one where Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) attends a UN meeting during which the nations plan to steal vibranium from Wakanda and turn it into evil weapons. The scene where she talks about the death of their king but their love for protecting Wakanda wasn’t supposed to be there, just like the Dora Milaje’s opening action scene.
I’m going to tell you all a secret that’s funny. We were experimenting with all kinds of things with this film. And at some point we tried to pull those two scenes out of the movie, like [la scène de l’ONU et la scène d’action d’ouverture de Dora Milaje] here. And we were just talking like, ‘Yeah, it’ll work without that, because X, Y, and Z.’ And I remember I came in early at 6 a.m. to watch [le film], because I just wanted to watch it before testing it with the scenes. And we pressed play, and I was watching it, and it was just the worst movie ever.
Dissatisfied with the outcome and finding his film incomplete, Ryan Coogler immediately called Marvel producer Nate Moore to resolve his issue and add the remaining scenes from the film.
I was like, ‘Oh, that’s terrible. At one point, I was standing in the screening room completely alone, around 6:45 a.m., and calling Nate [Moore], I call everyone: ‘Yo, it’s a mistake. We have to solve this problem.’ But it’s quite a journey to understand how important those two scenes are to making the movie work.
Finally, the two passages joined the final cut but many other sequences fell by the wayside. As editor Michael P. Shawver revealed in an interview for SYFY, the first rough cut of the feature film was very long and had a sequence of almost five hours, largely focusing on the development of Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and the kingdom of Talokan as well as the relationship between Shuri (Letitia Wright) and Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne).
There were big parts that we had to take out before anyone saw the movie. […] But the movie had to move on, the beat had to move on, we had to bring back [Shuri] to his mother. We came to understand later: ‘Let’s incorporate [Riri] more in Namor’s capture plan.’
Finally, in 161 minutes, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever managed to win over its audience. The film is to be seen or seen again at the cinema, where it is still showing in a few remaining rooms. The first installment is available for streaming on Disney+.