SPOILER ALERT: This story contains major spoilers for the ending and mid-credits scene in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” currently playing in theaters.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” saves its biggest surprise for the credits scene. Shuri (Letitia Wright) visits Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) at her home in Haiti, where it’s revealed that Nakia and the late T’Challah (Chadwick Boseman) had a son (Divine Love Konadu-Sun). Shuri meets her nephew, whose real name is revealed to be T’Challah. Wright opened up about the credits scene for the first time during a conversation with John Boyega for Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series.
“Obviously, I watched your film. I’m a Marvel fan, so I’m going to stay for the post-credits,” Boyega told Wright. “And it’s an important scene that gives us a clue to where the Marvel Cinematic Universe is heading and a big deal for you, in terms of your path as an actress. How does it feel to be part of a monumental moment?”
“That post-credit scene for me is another extension of the ways in which we wanted to honor Chadwick — especially the role of T’Challa,” Wright said. “In the movie that Chadwick was written into before he passed, there is a journey of a father and son. When reading it, I could sense we had to find a way to continue the legacy of what T’Challa means to the world, especially to young Black men. That scene messed me up.”
Wright said that she auditioned with two children who were in contention for the role of her nephew. “Then Divine came in,” she added. “His name is Divine. He had a little Chadwick Mohawk. Me and Lupita Nyong’o kept looking at each other like, ‘This is the kid.’ That scene is beautiful because it represents what the future will be.”
In director Ryan Coogler’s original “Black Panther 2” script before Boseman’s passing, T’Challah wrestled with being a father as well as the time he lost during The Blip. For this reason, there was always going to be a theme of grief and mourning in the film even if the movie didn’t have to be overhauled following Boseman’s death.
“The tone was going to be similar,” Coogler told Inverse of his original sequel script. “The character was going to be grieving the loss of time, you know, coming back after being gone for five years. 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.”
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” star Angela Basset told Variety earlier this month that she also filmed scenes with Divine Love Konadu-Sun, but they ended up on the cutting room floor.
“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.’ I went to Haiti, of course. I met him, I was introduced to him… but it wound up on the cutting room floor.”
According to Bassett, Coogler cut her scene with T’Challa’s son so that both viewers and Shuri could experience the shock of the moment together in real time. “It was the right way to go. Perfect to go about it,” Bassett said.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is now playing in theaters. Watch Wright and Boyega’s full “Actors on Actors” conversation in the video below.