It's no longer a secret that Donald Glover and his brother Stephen co-wrote a few scenes for Marvel's Black Panther, but now, thanks to the film's new audio commentary, one of those scenes has been revealed. Shortly before the film hit theaters in February, it was revealed that the Glover brothers had consulted on the screenplay and were recognized as such in the movie's credits. At the time, though, it was unclear what they had done to earn that credit.
Donald Glover was asked about the consultation while promoting the latest season of his FX series Atlanta, and he revealed that director Ryan Coogler asked him and his brother to take a look at the Black Panther script before the movie started filming, since Coogler is a Childish Gambino fan and obviously a fan of Glover's other works. But since Marvel Studios keeps a tight lid on their productions, the Glovers only had a few hours to punch up some of Black Panther's jokes. And while it was unclear at the time which jokes those were, one of them has now been revealed - and it's one that fans may recognize.
Shortly after arriving back in Wakanda, T'Challa takes part in the long-standing tradition of accepting any tribe's challenge for the throne and mantle of Black Panther. Forest Whitaker's Zuri, who oversees the ritual, asks if any member of the royal family would care to challenge T'Challa. At that point, Shuri (Letitia Wright) raises her hand, but it was a joke; she just wanted to get out of her corset and go home. According to Ryan Coogler, that fake out was actually a suggestion by Donald Glover.
While the scene was played for comedy, there are actually a few interesting tidbits that can be taken away from it. Audiences first see Ramonda's (Angela Bassett) horrified reaction that her own daughter would challenge her son for the throne. But what's most interesting is Zuri's reaction; he seems just as horrified and shocked that T'Challa's own sister would challenge him, but then the audience realizes that she was just joking. And from that, it's clear that Shuri is much more progressive than her family and friends. She doesn't like wearing their traditional outfits and would rather be back in her Vibranium-filled lab, cooking up the world's latest technology.
Although no one from the core tribes or the royal family challenges T'Challa, the one person that does is M'Baku - the leader of the Jabari tribe - who comes from down the mountain to participate in the ritual. Coogler mentioned later in the audio commentary that M'Baku's entrance scene was, strangely, inspired by Steven Spielberg's 2013 film, Lincoln, because of all the politics involved between the Jabari and the rest of the Wakandan tribes.
Black Panther is out now on Digital HD, DVD, and Blu-Ray.
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