'Black Panther' Was Built Around This Key Piece of Dialogue, According to Kevin Feige

Black Panther became a massive success both critically and financially, thanks to its compelling performances, ambitious direction, and riveting script, earning seven Academy Awards nominations. According to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, the first time he read the script, one key piece of dialogue during the film's finale ended up motivating the entire tone of the film.

"It was in those early discussions that we had with Ryan, that he had with Nate Moore, our executive producer at Marvel who brought [writer/director Ryan Coogler] in to meet with us," Feige shared with The Hollywood Reporter. "And that amazing line, that he and his co-writer, Joe Robert Cole, wrote for Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) as he lay dying outside the vibranium mines looking over Wakanda. T'Challa says, 'I can try to heal you,' and he says, 'Why, so you can lock me up? Just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped ships, 'cause they knew death was better than bondage.'" That was in the first draft."

Feige continued, "It was one of the best lines we ever read. We said, 'There are going to be a lot of revisions, but don't touch that line.' And Ryan said, 'That's the line I thought you'd tell me to cut.' And we said, 'On the contrary, keep it and build more of the movie around it.'"

While fans are thrilled that Black Panther has earned seven nominations, including Best Picture, fans are also frustrated that Coogler specifically wasn't recognized for either directing or writing. The filmmaker might not have specifically been singled out for his skills, but Feige has regularly shared praise for what Coogler accomplished with the film and how much of its success rests on his shoulders.

"With what Ryan was doing, what he had to say, and vouching for crew members that we had not worked with before but that he believed in -- he came in and blew us away with initial sort of presentations to get the job," Feige previously told Variety's Playback Podcast. "For them to have stepped up and knocked it out of the park the way they did is incredible. It comes down to a filmmaker who has such a deft hand at being able to balance something that is going to have entertainment value with being true to his soul and being true to the questions he had growing up."


Fans will see if Black Panther takes home any Oscars on February 24th during the 91st Academy Awards ceremony. Stay tuned for details on Black Panther 2.

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