Black Panther 2 had the tall order of introducing new characters like Namor and Riri Williams while also paying tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman. With so many moving parts, its runtime of 2 hours and 41 minutes appeared to be what was necessary to tell the story as completely as possible.
However, since its premiere, much of the discussion was centered around which scenes didn't make the final cut. Wakanda Forever editor Michael P. Shawver previously revealed an alternate take on the sequel's post-credits scene, while a romance subplot featuring Namor and Shuri was removed by Marvel altogether.
And now, it has been confirmed that two important scenes were also axed in the final cut.
Black Panther 2 Didn't Include Two Significant Scenes
Speaking with SFX via Zoom, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever editor Michael P. Shawver talked about the sequel's deleted scenes.
While confirming that an early cut of the movie had a runtime of four-and-a-half hours, Shawver revealed that a good chunk of scenes that were cut involved underwater sequences that would've allowed Shuri and Riri Williams to bond more:
"There were big parts that we had to take out before anyone else saw the movie. They're [Shuri and Riri] both very unique in terms [of them being] two of the most brilliant minds in the MCU, and having them relate was important."
The Black Panther 2 director then added that the "pacing needed to move," leading them to figure out to "incorporate [Riri] into the plan of capturing Namor:"
"But the movie needed to move, the pacing needed to move, we needed to get [Shuri] back to her mom. We ended up just figuring out later that, ‘Let’s incorporate [Riri] more into the plan of capturing Namor.’"
Shawver also confirmed that another important scene that was axed involved a recently-demoted Okoye attempting to rescue Shuri but finding herself confronted by her former allies in the Dora Milaje.
This scene was actually included in Wakanda Forever's teaser trailer, with Shawver noting that it was a "really cool moment:"
"I feel okay talking about the scene because there's a shot the first trailer from it, where Okoye has her spear up and the Dora put their spears up to her. I won't say what happens in case [it's part of the] deleted scenes [on the home release], but it was really cool. It was Wakanda at night, you saw the cityscape late at night, you saw this former general facing off against her sisters."
Should Deleted Black Panther 2 Scene Have Been Cut?
Seeing Shuri and Riri bond more in Talokan would've shifted the attention away from the fact that they are both taken captive by Namor. Instead, incorporating Riri in the plan of capturing Namor while allowing her and Shuri to craft a plan to defeat him and the Talokans could have been a better narrative direction for both MCU heroes.
Meanwhile, deleting the scene of the intense confrontation between Okoye and the Dora Milaje is a missed opportunity for Black Panther 2, considering the characters' long history.
It is unknown why Marvel Studios decided to omit the Okoye-centric scene, but it may have been tied to pacing issues. Still, seeing Okoye go up against the Dora Milaje in a tension-filled showdown would have fit the overarching emotional theme of Wakanda Forever.
At this stage, Black Panther 2's extended cut appears not to be on the horizon just yet, despite a recent tease from one of its cast members. However, given the importance of Okoye's clash with her former sisters, Marvel could still release this deleted sequence as part of the sequel's digital release sometime next year.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is playing in theaters worldwide.