Post-Credit scenes are a pillar of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. These extra scenes at the end of every Marvel Studios movie have changed how blockbuster movie fans experience the theaters.
It has been revealed that one of the biggest Marvel Studios movies of all time, Black Panther, originally featured a post-credit scene that would have changed the landscape of the MCU.
One popular execution of the post-credit scene is to tease a character that will play a role in a sequel or another upcoming Marvel Studios project. That said, it's now being revealed that Black Panther almost introduced one of the most anticipated Marvel characters of all time.
Namor's Original MCU Introduction
In a recent interview with Empire, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed that Black Panther director Ryan Coogler "had a pitch" to feature Namor in a post-credits scene during the first movie:
“Ryan had a pitch for a tag at the end of Black Panther. The camera would push through the palace in Wakanda, and then we'd see wet footprints leading up to the throne.”
Instead, Coogler and co. decided to reintroduce Bucky Barnes back into the fold after being frozen and treated in Wakanda at the end of Captain America: Civil War.
This is the likely replacement for the first post-credit scene of T'Challa preparing to reveal the real Wakanda to the United Nations, which will seemingly be a major factor in the plot for the MCU sequel.
The Kings of the MCU
With the state of comic book knowledge within the general public in 2018, this post-credit scene would have brought the house down.
In 2012, a decent percentage of fans would have had the same reaction they had to Thanos in 2012's The Avengers. "Who is this, and what does this mean?"
But in 2018, with the popularity of the Marvel brand on the back of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the growth of blogs and YouTube channels dedicated to rumors and theories for upcoming Marvel movies, and the sheer acceptance of nerd culture in the late 2010s... wet footprints would have crushed.
Already considered (and acclaimed) as one of the greatest comic book movies of all time, this kind of cinematic introduction to the Sub-Mariner as a post-credit scene would have brought Black Panther to even greater heights.
Nothing against Bucky Barnes, but Namor being teased is the kind of stuff that fans get on their feet for.
The reason it didn't happen? Most likely because Black Panther was released months before Avengers: Infinity War and just over a year before Avengers: Endgame. Events that brought together virtually every character on the MCU roster.
It is a very tough task to introduce such a major player right before such climactic event-films like Infinity War and Endgame. They attempted just that with Captain Marvel in 2019 but with an entire movie to get audiences bought in.
Could a Namor solo film have fit in Phase 3 of the MCU? Maybe.
Are fans more excited than ever to see the first live-action iteration of Namor in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever? Absolutely.