Whether 'Black Panther' really will get some Oscar nods - and wins - is still up for debate. But if you're a fan of the film, this revelation should fascinate you in any case.
It turns out that the ending to the superhero movie was going to be very different. The change had to do with a line - delivered by antagonist Killmonger, a role played by Michael B. Jordan to critical acclaim - being cut.
The editor of 'Black Panther', Michael Shawver, told Cinema Blend that the movie was originally going to end with the United Nations scene (now featured in the mid-credits).
Input from co-editor Debbie Berman made him and 'Black Panther's director Ryan Coogler realise they were missing a scene where the hero learned his lesson. They discovered the problem was related to Killmonger's final moments.
According to Shawyer:
"What we shot originally, and in the script, was Killmonger saying 'It's beautiful, but what are you going to do for everybody in the world who can't see this?'... And it was great. It was powerful, it was awesome, but it was problematic for a few reasons.
"One, we realized that just as a character, for the journey of T'Challa, he can't get the answer to the movie and what he needs to do from the villain - like straight-up exactly what he needs. And that's kind of what was happening. Secondly, it was a great performance, and [Michael B. Jordan] brought it, and it was painful to watch because you kind of don't want this guy to die, but it didn't fit his character."
Shawver also said that he and Coogler drew from 'The Godfather Part II' for inspiration for the ending:
"Basically, the first time you meet Michael, he's with Kay and he's telling her he's not like his family. 'That's not me, Kay. That's them.' The last scene we see him, he's telling Kay he's not like his family... But then he walks and the door shuts, and you know everything is different. But it's the same conversation! And so it's the circular nature why those kinds of endings feel like closure even though it's open-ended."
Ryan Coogler thus wrote and reshot a new ending for 'Black Panther'. Taking place in the estate where Erik Killmonger was raised, T'Challa and Shuri talk about their nation's influence and how they plan to start changing the world with refurbishment projects and outreach programs.