By this time next week, Black Panther will be Oscar-nominated Black Panther.
The Academy Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 22, and the Ryan Coogler-directed film has put itself “in consideration” for multiple categories, including Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor, and even Best Picture. And unlike, say, Welcome to Marwen, which is also technically up for the Oscars’ biggest prize, Black Panther has a legitimate shot at a nomination. Considering all the hubbub over the historically-significant superhero movie, it’s surprising we’re still learning new details about it, and yet…
Editor Michael Shawver recently revealed how a deleted line re-shaped the ending of Black Panther during reshoots. “With reshoots, Ryan wanted to do a new ending, and it’s a whole bigger thing with the scene where Killmonger dies,” he said. “What we shot originally, and in the script, was Killmonger saying ‘It’s beautiful, but what are you going to do for everybody in the world who can’t see this?’… It was awesome, but it was problematic for a few reasons.”
He continued, “One, we realized that just as a character, for the journey of T’Challa, he can’t get the answer to the movie and what he needs to do from the villain — like straight-up exactly what he needs. And that’s kind of what was happening. Secondly, it was a great performance, and [Michael B. Jordan] brought it, and it was painful to watch because you kind of don’t want this guy to die, but it didn’t fit his character.” Eventually, Coogler, who read lists of the best movie endings while editing with Shawver, realized Black Panther would be more powerful if the film ended where it began. T’Challa talked the talk with his United Nations speech (which was in the original ending), and walked the walk by setting up an outreach center in Oakland (which wasn’t).
“Basically, him showing them that, and buying those buildings, and the Wakandan Outreach Program was in spirit what originally we had Killmonger tell him. ‘If people can just see this. If people can see their own potential then things would be different.’ And so that was done in a new scene where we see what T’Challa has done. And then at the very, very, very end, the last line is that kid looking at him and saying, ‘Who are you?’ And that is the theme of the movie, of identity. Who are you? And he doesn’t need to answer it, because he just answered it for us.” (Via)
See? Not all reshoots are bad.