Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's final battle was filled with exciting moments that took place in the middle of the ocean, but a new revelation has confirmed that it was initially set in a different location.
Black Panther 2 featured the interesting friendship between Shuri and Riri Williams, a.k.a. Ironheart, that proved vital to the sequel's eventful showdown. The clash between the Wakandans and the Talokans was arguably the highlight of the sequel as it unveiled Ironheart's upgraded suit and the brilliant plan of the genius duo to take down Namor.
One of the pivotal moments of the final battle was a clash between Riri and Namora underwater, but it was just brief. Now, new details about a scrapped sequence revealed a potentially longer fight between the two characters.
Marvel's Original Setting for Black Panther 2's Final Battle
Marvel Studios concept designer Phil Saunders shared new concept art of a deleted scene where Ironheart and Namora fight underwater while also revealing that the final battle would've taken place near an oil rig, instead of the Royal Sea Leopard, in the middle of the ocean.
Ironheart pursues Namora in Saunders' latest concept art, with the visual artist pointing out that the oil rig was the "original setting in the script:"
"Another keyframe for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, this time Riri Williams diving in to attack Namora. The original setting in the script was an oil rig, hence the pillars in the background."
Saunders also noted that Ironheart's helmet was intended to be shown "with the faceplate clear and Riri's face visible:"
"You can see how the helmet was intended to be shown, with the faceplate clear and Riri’s face visible. I really loved painting Josh Nizzi’s incredible design for Namora, so richly textured and dynamic!"
A closer look at Namora was also highlighted in the concept art:
In a previous post, Saunders also unveiled Ironheart's base suit with repulsors, since an early cut of the movie featured a scene where Namora disables the combat upgrades that forced Riri to eject the armor add-ons underwater:
"You can actually see this design in the suit-building montage, as the schematic that Riri is working on in Wakanda. Unfortunately, we never got to see it in all its glory. There was originally a scene where Namora disables the combat upgrades and Riri has to eject the armor add-ons underwater, leaving her to escape in just the base suit with repulsors, but sadly it got cut."
Namora and Riri's fight scene in the final battle mostly took place in the air instead of underwater, which proved to be an advantage for the young MCU hero:
Visual artist Ed Natividad also unveiled an incredible new concept art of the Royal Sea Leopard, the main setting of the sequel's final battle:
Why Black Panther 2's Final Battle Location is Perfect
Seeing this original setting gave a brand new perspective on the Wakandan and Talokan war that took place in the sequel.
However, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's final battle location in the middle of the ocean is actually perfect from a strategic standpoint. While many would argue that it was a disadvantage for the Wakandans, Shuri and Riri's plan to separate Namor from the Talokans did work, but it also left their allies vulnerable to the might of their water-based enemies.
Still, an oil rig would've helped the Wakandans more since they had an additional platform to battle the Talokans instead of the Royal Sea Leopard. This would've also allowed the African warriors, led by the Midnight Angels and Ironheart, to maximize the large structure in defeating the underwater beings.
The sequel ended with Namor and Shuri having a truce, but it also featured tons of losses from both sides before the pair decided to stop the war. It's possible that the writers chose the ocean setting in the final cut to show the Wakandans' vulnerability and Shuri's flaw in her first foray into leadership.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is playing in theaters worldwide.