Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's runtime of 2 hours and 41 minutes made it one of the MCU's longest movies ever, and now, Marvel Studios producer Nate Moore explained why the Black Panther sequel's extended length is necessary in order to tell the "epic quality to the story" that director Ryan Coogler wants to deliver.
Despite the lengthy runtime, critics are sharing their strong positive reactions to the movie, with them praising Coogler's vision and the performances of its stellar cast.
Marketing also revealed five minutes worth of footage from the Black Panther sequel, giving fans a glimpse of what to expect when it finally gets to be released on the big screen.
Now, the lengthy runtime is being addressed by one of the sequel's producers.
Black Panther 2's Long Runtime Explained
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever producer Nate Moore explained the sequel's lengthy runtime in an interview with ComicBook.com.
When asked how the studio ended up with the almost-three-hour runtime, Moore said that it all boiled down to its story, noting that there is so much to tell and "how compelling is it:"
"Yeah, and it’s I mean, there’s probably less of a hard and fast rule that you might think. It really is how much story there is to tell and how compelling is it. There’s a lot of [things] going on in this movie."
Moore then mentioned the "epic quality" that Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler wanted to tell so the studio didn't want to "shortchange anything:"
"There is an epic quality to the story that Ryan [Coogler] wanted to tell in an epic quality to the journeys of these characters so we didn’t want to shortchange anything. It could’ve been longer."
The MCU producer also confirmed that there were some "fantastic scenes" that weren't included in the film since they weren't "driving the general narrative forward:"
"There were some fantastic scenes that aren’t in the film that just felt like they weren’t driving the general narrative forward. But, we have such a great cast of characters. I mean, all of their scenes are great so it is sometimes hard to make the choices even to get it to where it was."
Speaking with Collider, Coogler was asked about his learnings from test screenings that impacted the sequel's final cut.
The Wakanda Forever director first confirmed that the movie's editors submitted a "very long" cut that led them to have a "really great insight" into what to include.
"Man, you’re asking some detailed process questions. What did we learn? This movie was big, it had a lot of moving parts. The editors delivered an assembly that was very long, as per usual, so we were really looking for what to cut. That gave us some really great insight in terms of that. In terms of making trims, and what things could go wholesale, what things felt like they lost them a bit."
Coogler then opened up about showing the early cut with "limited music," with him pointing out that this was needed to make the film "more concise:"
"We try to show those cuts early with limited music, because music oftentimes has the ability to make things that are longer feel shorter, and we didn’t want to hide anything in those versions. So it was helpful in terms of making the film more concise."
As for the deleted scenes, Coogler confirmed that there was "a lot:"
"I don’t have a number, but it was a lot. I love basically everything we shot. It’s always the challenge, man, with any creative medium, is the editing process. What to take away and what to leave."
Why Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Needed to Be Long
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has a tall order of delivering a perfect tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman while also continuing the legacy of the MCU's Black Panther and introducing key players namely Namor and Riri Williams. All of these moving parts are the main reason why a lengthy runtime is needed in order to fully showcase the sequel's worthwhile narrative.
Still, Marvel Studios producer Nate Moore's remark about removing the scenes that do not drive the general narrative forward appears to be the rule of thumb for the studio, which is a good practice as the MCU expands with more content.
Meanwhile, the task of trimming down the movie was clearly difficult for Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler, especially considering all the sequel's moving pieces. Ultimately, the fact that they landed with a solid runtime suggests that everything that was included in the final cut was a necessary inclusion for the sequel to work.
Thankfully, based on previous releases, Marvel fans will get to see the plethora of deleted scenes that Coogler didn't include in the final cut, thus giving more context to some sequences.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to premiere in theaters on Friday, November 11.