The Queen of Wakanda had one scene left out of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
In an interview with Variety, Angela Bassett spoke about her acclaimed performance as Queen Ramonda, revealing a fascinating deleted scene she filmed as well as some serious reservations about the whole project. Spoilers ahead.
On Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast, Bassett said she filmed a scene with Divine Love Konadu-Sun, who appears in the credits as Toussaint, the child of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o).
When Shuri (Letitia Wright) is introduced to Toussaint, she’s told that Ramonda knew about T’Challa’s son. Bassett now says she actually had a scene with Konadu-Sun, though she didn’t divulge many details.
“I filmed a scene,” Bassett said. “I did. But you know. Cutting room, readjusting and reshaping it. What does Ramonda say? Oh, ‘Shuri, there’s something that I need to tell you.’”
Bassett didn’t reveal much more, only adding, “I went to Haiti, of course. I met him, I was introduced to him. But it wound up on the cutting room floor.”
She also thinks the decision to omit the scene was for the better. “It was the right way to go. Perfect way to go about it.”
As for the scenes that are present, Bassett felt a galaxy of emotions when she learned her MCU role would be killed off. Midway through Wakanda Forever, Queen Ramonda drowns when Namor floods the kingdom with seawater.
“I was not happy about that,” says Bassett. “I was not pleased. I was so shocked. I was just mortified. You know, it’s like they gave you the greatest gift, and they snatched it away. Part of me was like, ‘Okay, don’t say anything, be strong.’ Then the other part of me was like, ‘I just got to let him know. That I don’t like this at all. And why? Don’t do this.’ The love for Ramonda was so real and heartfelt, but you know, they always kill the heart and soul.”
In an interview with Inverse, writer and director Ryan Coogler said the original plan for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was to explore T’Challa’s five-year absence following Avengers: Infinity War.
“The character was going to be grieving the loss of time, you know, coming back after being gone for five years,” Coogler said. “As a man with so much responsibility to so many, coming back after a forced five years absence, that’s what the film was tackling. He was grieving time he couldn’t get back. Grief was a big part of it.”
Although Coogler hasn’t said more about the original script, it’s reasonable to guess that the film would have featured T’Challa meeting his growing son, Toussaint. Perhaps a remnant of Coogler’s first script survives in this deleted scene.
While there clearly wasn’t anything meaty enough in Ramonda and Toussaint’s scene to warrant inclusion in the final cut, it’s still fun to speculate what a meeting between a grandmother and grandson — and a queen and future king — might contain. It’s doubtful they said anything that would make Marvel Universe lore hounds race to fill out a Wikia. But for anyone who knows what it’s like to lose someone they love, whatever they say could say everything.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is playing in theaters.