Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed his favorite scene in Black Panther. Directed by Ryan Coogler, the 18th film installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe officially introduced fans to the technologically-advanced nation of Wakanda and its people after it was teased in the post-credit scene of Captain America: Civil War.
Boasting a predominantly African-American ensemble, Black Panther's cast is led by Chadwick Boseman who plays the the Wakandan prince-turned-king T'Challa. It also marked Michael B. Jordan's return to the superhero genre after 2015's The Fantastic Four as the primary antagonist, Erik Killmonger. Black Panther broke box office records, earning $1.3 billion across the globe. Regarded as a significant film - not only within in the MCU, but cinema as a whole - it's currently up for multiple Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Now, with energy surrounding the film still buzzing since its February 2018 release, Feige has revealed his favorite scene from the movie.
Speaking with THR as part of the outlet's coverage on Black Panther's historic Best Picture nomination, Feige was asked about the moment he knew that the Coogler-directed flick would resonate with audiences. And, through his answer, he shared a specific piece of dialogue that he considers to be the best from the entire film:
"That amazing line, that he [Coogler] and his co-writer, Joe Robert Cole, wrote for Killmonger as he lay dying outside the vibranium mines looking over Wakanda. T'Challa says, 'I can try to heal you,' and he says, 'Why, so you can lock me up? Just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped ships, 'cause they knew death was better than bondage.' That was in the first draft. It was one of the best lines we ever read. We said, 'There are going to be a lot of revisions, but don't touch that line.' And Ryan said, 'That's the line I thought you'd tell me to cut.' And we said, 'On the contrary, keep it and build more of the movie around it.'"
Last month, Black Panther's editor Michael Shawer shared that the film initially ended with the T'Challa and Killmonger's scene on the cliff - albeit with slightly different dialogue. It turns out that Killmonger was going to ask T'Challa about what he was going to do with those who don't have the privilege of seeing the Wakanda sunset before he refused to get medical help. The idea was scrapped after Coogler and his team thought that it didn't really fit Killmonger's character, and instead, they went straight to his powerful final words.
In hindsight, while many hoped that Killmonger survived the events of Black Panther, it made much more sense for his character arc that he stuck to his morals until the very end. Considering how impactful those words were and how much it resonated to a lot of people, it was a smart move from Feige to instruct Coogler and Cole to craft Killmonger's overall narrative around that particular dialogue. Had he been saved, it would have felt like a cop-out ending - something that would've weakened the film's story, and maybe even worked against its chances of scoring the Oscar's Best Picture nod.
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