While Black Panther is not exactly an origin story, it does do a great job of getting newcomers acquainted with the world of Wakanda, as well as its history and customs.
But the epic opening scene was almost very different, according to executive producer Nate Moore in a conversation with Empire. The scene in which Prince N'Jobu (Sterling K. Brown) recounts the country's rise to his son went through a few different iterations before the crew finally settled on what audiences saw in theaters.
"We landed on N'Jobu telling the story to his son, which wasn't our first choice, but ultimately felt really satisfying," said Moore. "Hopefully on repeat viewings you go, 'Oh that's who I was listening to, OK that's cool.'"
Before settling on N'Jobu, Moore said they went through iterations where Shuri was the one recounting the history of Wakanda and how Vibranium came to be, to T'Chaka telling the story to T'Challa, and to T'Chaka speaking directly to the audience.
"They were all viable and interesting, but emotionally I think this is the best version," Moore said.
The scenes with Brown's Prince N'Jobu and Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger were some of the most powerful in the entire film, and did a great job at giving audiences a personal connection into the villain's actions.
Killmonger's motivations were already justified in a certain sense, as T'Challa actor Chadwick Boseman admitted himself. But despite the tragic upbringing and the reasons for his ideals, Killmonger was a flawed man who made terrible choices. Chaos was his ultimate goal, and that ultimately ensured his defeat at the hands of the rightful king and those loyal to him.
Coogler also revealed that Killmonger's mission was inspired by British Museum. A stand-in was used for the location, referred to as the Museum for Great Britain, which is a strange snapshot of the history of colonization due to the African artifacts it houses.
"I got the idea for that scene here, I was here in the UK for press for Creed," Coogler said. "The British Museum is amazing, just being in there and thinking about the character of Killmonger, thinking about Wakanda […] its relationship with colonization. Being in that museum and seeing these incredible things from all over the world, and just how complicated that is."
Black Panther is now playing in theaters everywhere.