Black Panther 2 Deleted Scene Ruins The Best Character
A deleted scene from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever would have ruined Okoye's storyline and her future potential spin-off.
Phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe had its share of both great projects and those that were not received as well. While the projects Eternals and Thor: Love and Thunder saw their detractors criticize many aspects of the films, films like Shang Chi, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever were seen as the high points of the phase. According to Comic Book, ahead of Black Panther 2‘s digital release on Disney+, a deleted scene reveals that we almost got a very different end for Okoye that would have ruined a great upcoming spin-off.
In the deleted scene, Okoye (played by The Walking Dead alum Danai Gurira) visits her people in the border tribe and has a conversation with her uncle. The tribe was left largely on the sideline in Black Panther 2 due to their actions in the first film where they, led by Okoye’s husband W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya), aligned themselves against Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa and with Michael B. Jordan‘s Killmonger. However, in this deleted scene, her uncle attempts to convince her to enter herself into the ritual at the waterfall to become the Queen of Wakanda.
While Okoye would be a strong and powerful queen in her own right, the storyline that sees her take the throne of Wakanda would replace a storyline that has the potential of being much better. There are reports that Okoye’s fate lies in a much more aimless path, director Ryan Coogler has stated that her fate is to leave her nation and wander the world. He likened the story to resembling the storyline of the Kung-Fu series from the 1970s that saw David Carradine wander the Wild West as Shaolin Monk Kwai Chang Caine.
Black Panther 2 removed the scene and sidelined nearly all mentions of the border tribe, but the uncle’s advice brought with it a bit of a Game of Thrones vibe. While it seems fairly straightforward to reinstitute a cultural custom of a battle for the throne, what the action would have done was to take away the throne from Shuri (Letitia Wright) and reduce the impact of her eventually ceding rulership to M’Baku (Winston Duke). Following the murder of Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), the storyline focuses primarily on Shuri and her journey to become the new Black Panther and to exact her revenge on her mother’s murderer.
Altering the storyline to see Okoye make a play for the throne would have done more than alter her destiny to wander the world like a Shaolin Monk. It also would have taken away from Shuri’s storyline, distracting from her parallel journey with Namor, played by Tenoch Huerta. The primary focus of the film was centered on Shuri and Namor’s quests for vengeance, and adding a struggle for the throne would have been too much story for one movie.
Deleted scenes happen for multiple reasons, and while most of them are scenes fans would love to see in an extended cut, this one was left out for a good reason. The absence of this scene made Black Panther 2 better and didn’t ruin the possible spin-off with Okoye wandering the world as a Wakandan Ronin.