It’s no secret that Angela Bassett is a cultural powerhouse. The multi-award winning actress has been recognized for her talent in television and film several times. Most recently, she showcases that talent beautifully as Queen Ramonda in Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” More than just a side character that provides rote motivation for the protagonists, Bassett brought gravity and heart to the film to a degree rarely seen in superhero films. There is even talk of a possible Academy Award nomination for her portrayal.
This article contains spoilers for major plot points, as well as the ending and mid-credits scene of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” We recommend you see the movie before coming back to read it.
Bassett revealed she shot a scene with Divine Love Konadu-Sun, who plays a character revealed in the mid-credit scene to be the son of T’Challa (the late Chadwick Boseman) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o). But the scene with the young actor was cut from the final version of the film.
“I went to Haiti, of course. I met him, I was introduced to him… but it wound up on the cutting room floor,” Bassett said. It was apparently cut “to make it a surprise for the audience and to Shuri. It was the right way to go. Perfect to go about it.” This kind of reshaping is typical in movie production, and while we would have loved to see Nakia introduce young Toussaint to his “Nanna” (how sweet is that?) we agree that saving that reveal until the end is the better move.
BUT THEN, she also commented about learning about Ramonda’s death when reading the script for the first time.
“I was not happy about that,” Bassett said. “I was not pleased. I was so shocked. I was… just mortified. You know, it’s like they gave you the greatest gift, and they snatched it away. Part of me was like, ‘Okay, don’t say anything, be strong.’ Then the other part of me was like… ‘I just got to let him know. That I don’t like this at all — and why? — and don’t do this.’ The love for Ramonda was so real and heartfelt, but you know — they always kill the heart and soul.”
We’re inclined to to agree. In a movie about grief and loss – the loss of family, of safety, of what the world had been before – Ramonda’s sudden on-screen death does feel like ripping out the heart of the movie. But the movie is also about responses to that grief, and Ramonda’s death does provide the ultimate impetus for Shuri’s aggressive response.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is still at the top of the domestic box office for the fourth consecutive week, with $393.7 million in North American. It’s still in theaters now.