One of the best moments in the climax for Marvel Studios' latest superhero epic was subtly built throughout the film, but the director of Black Panther fought for a deleted scene that would help explain it better.
In the film, the two are lovers who end up on different sides of the conflict due to their views. Okoye, while loyal to the throne, doesn't trust Erik Killmonger to be the leader Wakanda needs— and his actions don't sit well with her, either. W'Kabi, on the other hand, sees a leader that will get things done when T'Challa couldn't.
"So in the film it is more than hinted at that they're a couple, but there is a scene directly after Killmonger takes the throne where you hear both characters articulate their point of view as to why they should or shouldn't follow this man and it's one of the most well-acted scenes I've ever been a part of," Moore said on the podcast.
"Unfortunately, it occurred at a point in the movie where audiences just wanted to get to the resolution and so it slowed down a part of the movie and we were afraid audiences were checking out," Moore said. "We were also afraid if we took it out we're going to ruin this movie—'guys we're going to ruin this movie; let's not take it out.' We didn't take it out for three or four screenings and we finally took it out and I think Ryan and I were probably the last men on that beach saying don't take it out."
While it would have been an emotional and resonant scene in an already wonderful film, it likely would have stopped all the momentum gained in the final act. From the moment Killmonger arrives in Wakanda, there is little downtime for the characters. T'Challa is restored by his family with help from the Jabari tribe, but that moves quickly as rush toward the battle.
Instead, that scene will probably be best suited for the deleted scenes when the movie hits home video. For now, we'll have to wait a while until we finally get to watch it.