SPOILER ALERT: This story contains major spoilers for the ending and mid-credits scene in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” currently playing in theaters.
Angela Bassett, who is generating Oscar buzz for her performance as Ramonda in Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” is sharing her feelings about her character’s death. Her tone was good-natured during the discussion, but the sentiment was clear that she wasn’t happy when she first read the script by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole.
During an interview with Variety‘s Awards Circuit Podcast, Bassett reveals for the first time that she shot a scene with the young actor Divine Love Konadu-Sun, who plays a character revealed to be the son of T’Challa (the late Chadwick Boseman) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o). However, Bassett’s scene with the young actor was cut from the final version of the film.
“I filmed a scene,” Bassett says. “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 recalled parts of the scene that were cut but stopped short of going into greater detail. “I went to Haiti, of course. I met him, I was introduced to him… but it wound up on the cutting room floor.”
She further explains it was cut “to make it a surprise for the audience and to Shuri. It was the right way to go. Perfect to go about it.”
In the deleted scene, she discloses that Nakia introduces Ramonda to Toussaint as his “Nanna.” Doesn’t that make your heart swoon? She later describes the young Konadu-Sun as a “precious little angel.”
She also commented about learning about Ramonda’s death when reading the script for the first time.
“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? — and don’t do this.’ The love for Ramonda was so real and heartfelt, but you know — they always kill the heart and soul.”
Helmed by Ryan Coogler, the sequel to the 2019 best picture nominee delivers a wrenching story of grief and reclamation as the family of T’Challa — played by the late Boseman — adjusts to a world coping with his death.
Bassett’s sole previous Academy Award nod was for her turn as Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do With It” (1993). Notably, no actor has been Oscar-nominated for a performance in the Marvel Cinematic, despite DC Comics adaptations landing wins with the likes of Heath Ledger (“The Dark Knight”) and Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”). There have been a few seeming “close calls,” such as Michael B. Jordan’s turn as Killmonger in the first “Black Panther.”
For the fourth consecutive week, “Wakanda Forever” was at the top of the dometic box office, bringing its North American tally to $393.7 million.
Later, Ron Howard talks about his film “Thirteen Lives.” And the Awards Circuit Roundtable gives its Golden Globe nominations predictions.
See the latest awards predictions, in all 23 Academy Award categories, in one place on Variety’s Oscars Collective. To see the ranked predictions for each individual category, visit Variety’s Oscars Hub.
Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, produced by Michael Schneider, who also co-hosts with Clayton Davis, is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in film and television. Each week “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post weekly.