For all its critical acclaim as a game-changing piece of afrofuturist cinema, Black Panther is also still part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and you know what that means – waiting for long lists of special effects artists, gaffers and best boys for the chance of some juicy post-credits scenes adding to the movie’s storyline and hinting at future superhero adventures.
Happily, Black Panther is no exception to this trend, and recently RadioTimes.com got the chance to chat with director Ryan Coogler to find out exactly how he decided what to include in the film’s two post-credits scenes, how they tie into Avengers: Infinity War and why he didn’t want them as part of the main film.
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Beware – from hereon out, SPOILERS reign.
Post-credits scene 1
In this first sequence, which could be glimped briefly in some of the trailers, we see a rather dashing King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) announce Wakanda’s new role in world politics to the UN, pledging to deliver aid and technology to their neighbours after centuries in the shadows.
It’s a stirring, punch-the-air moment even though we don’t see the comeuppance for that one delegate who dismissed Wakanda as “a nation of shepherds” – but given its plot significance, why didn’t Coogler opt to keep it in the main body of the film?
“It was a complicated thing,” the director told us. “It was one of those things where we were working on the ending in the edit. I’ve got two amazing editors, Michael Shawver and Debbie Berman, [and] we were kind of deciding how we’d play it.
“We knew we had the ability to do a post-credits sequence if we wanted to.”
And in the end, Coogler decided to end the main body of the film with T’Challa and Shuri (Letitia Wright) landing their plane in an Oakland, California basketball court, the very location where the film’s story had begun in an earlier flashback sequence.
“What ended up happening was just the argument of symmetry,” he explained.
“The argument of finishing where we started. And if you think about it, the UN scene, and the scene that happens in Oakland are basically the same scene. It’s a reveal of who Wakandans are.
“The only difference is who they’re revealing that to. And we thought that it was stronger emotionally [this way].”
Hard to argue with that.
Post-credits scene 2
The second of the stings takes a slightly different tack, reintroducing us to Sebastian Stan’s World War II soldier-turned-brainwashed assassin Bucky after he was last seen recuperating in a Wakandan lab in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War.
Teased by small children who refer to him as the “White Wolf” (very Game of Thrones), Bucky emerges from a small shelter to meet Shuri, who inquires after his health (he’s still missing his robot arm after it was torn off by Iron Man in his last appearance) before informing him he still has “much to learn”.
The screen then cuts to a reminder that we’ll meet the Black Panther again in Avengers: Infinity War – so was this scene an intentional nod to that film, or even a scene taken from Infinity War itself? Well, no – it was filmed specifically for Black Panther, and was just something Coogler thought would be a nice little nod for fans.
“We weren’t asked to do it,” he told us. “Obviously it ties in, but the studio didn’t force our hand, or tell us what the post-credits scene should be. It was something that we were interested in, that we were interested in doing.
“And for us it was fun, because I think the audience, if they’re familiar with the MCU, knows that Bucky is in Wakanda.
“It was kind of a hold-off,” he added. “Our film wasn’t about Bucky, obviously, [so] we didn’t feel like it would be right to deal with him in this context.
“But we thought it’d be cool for the fans that stayed ‘til the end to check in on this character that they love.”
We’d say it was definitely worth the wait – even if we don’t get to see him triumphantly reunite with Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers JUST yet.
Black Panther is in UK cinemas now