One of the benefits of Marvel crafting an interconnected universe is that characters can debut in one film before appearing in other films which potentially utilize them to their full potential. Captain America: Civil War debuted Spider-Man ahead of Spider-Man: Homecoming, in addition to Black Panther premiering ahead of the character getting his own solo adventure. Black Panther director Ryan Coogler recently shared that the film almost saw the debut of fan-favorite character Patriot, a.k.a. Elijah Bradley.
"Crazy enough, for comic book fans, we toyed with the character Patriot for a little bit," Coogler revealed to CinemaBlend. "Early on we were interested to get our hands on him, Joe [Robert Cole] and I, but that ended up going away so we could focus on Wakanda a little more."
Given how much of the film focuses on the African nation and the disconnect between the locale and Patriot, finding an organic way to appear in the movie would have proven too difficult. It's tough to say if Marvel Studios was interested in the character appearing or not, potentially teasing fans with the character's debut in the near future.
Patriot debuted in Young Avengers as the descendant of Isiah Bradley, one of the early test subjects who survived the Super Soldier procedure that Steve Rogers went through. This granted Patriot similar superhuman strength and agility.
Coogler may have abandoned the idea of incorporating Patriot, but the director revealed all of the other major players in Black Panther were included in some of the film's earliest drafts.
"The ones that you see were kind of always there," Coogler confirmed. "M'Baku, Killmonger, T'Challa, Nakia, Okoye, Shuri, Ramonda, Klaue, Everett Ross... they were always in every draft. So we had to make sure that they all had arcs, and it had something to do with that."
Hitting theaters in two weeks, Coogler also recently revealed that his film is unlike anything we've seen so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"When I first started talking to Marvel, one thing they were interested in was for Panther to be their version of James Bond, which I thought was incredibly interesting and exciting," Coogler shared with Total Film. "It was a really outside-of-the-box way to look at T'Challa. There are some Bond films that I really, really like, and it gave me the opportunity to go watch some other ones."
Black Panther lands in theaters February 16.