Ryan Coogler Explains Why a Major MCU Character Wasn't Utilized in BLACK PANTHER and How The Ending Was Changed
While fans are still feeling the high of Marvel's Black Panther awesomeness, director Ryan Coogler recently appeared on The Empire Film Podcast, and he opened up about a couple things regarding the film that you might be interested in knowing.
He reveals details on how and why he changed up the end of the movie and also opened up on why he didn't utilize a certain major MCU character in the story.
When it comes to the ending of the movie, Ryan Coogler explains how he switched some things up to give it a more emotionally charged experience. The movie was originally supposed to end at the U.N. It wasn't supposed to originally be a mid-credits scene:
"It was [almost the ending]. We played with a lot of different ways to end it. We went back and forth about the U.N., and we had a version where it was the U.N. before the scenes in Oakland at the end. But we really kind of settled on how do we want the movie to end? And it came back to that symmetry, and it came back to the most moving version of it. That’s what we were asking ourselves, ‘Who’s more moved emotionally, that kid or the people sitting in the U.N.?’ Who is that a bigger deal to for T’Challa to walk in, who’s more connected to him?"
Coogler went on to explain why he decided to make the movie's original ending a mid-credits scene, saying:
"As a kid, growing up, when you see somebody who looks like an older version of you doing something awesome, it’s like, ‘What’s going on?’ That’s kind of what that moment… We kind of went with the less distilled emotion, and the U.N. makes sense afterwards for where Wakanda could be going in the future of this universe."
It makes complete sense that they would end the film the way they did and it's easy to see where the director is coming from. The way they ended up restructuring things worked out perfectly. Placing the U.N. scene after the movie ended definitely does a better job of helping set up the future of the MCU.
As for Bucky Barnes, I was hoping that he would have had a bigger role in the film. After all, he was in Wakanda during all the drama that was unfolding over the course of the film. I thought for sure he would be brought in to help, but that didn't happen, and Ryan Coogler gives a good explanation as to why:
"[A Bucky scene] was something that was always—it was a Shuri thing, because in our world we kind of figured that Bucky Barnes would be her assignment. We kind of drop the hint at that when they bring Ross in and she’s like, ‘Oh another one.’ So we dropped hints in there, but what we kind of decided was that her cracking his mental code, if Shuri’s as smart as she is, that wouldn’t really be a big problem.
"But Bucky would have horrible PTSD, he would need spiritual guidance. The last thing he would need to do is jump into that Civil War, and so that was kind of the thought process there. And it could be potentially problematic if it’s a bunch of Africans fighting and you bring in a White dude, he comes in shootin’ people (laughs). We were aware of that. Bucky’s not trained to neutralize people peacefully, he’s an assassin…"
I can't really argue with that because it makes sense. In the end, I didn't really miss Bucky in the story. I just initially thought he would be utilized more. I'm sure we'll get to see plenty of him in Avengers: Infinity War as he fights alongside Captain America and Black Panther to keep Thanos from obtaining the Soul Stone, which is most likely in Wakanda.