The 64-year-old actress opened up about the clip, as well as the fate of her character, Queen Ramonda, with Variety, revealing that the sequel’s biggest twist was almost handled differently.
In the deleted scene, Basset says she was introduced to the child, played by Divine Love Konadu-Sun, earlier in the film.
“I filmed a scene,” Bassett described. “I did, but you know — cutting room, readjusting and reshaping it. What does Ramonda say? Oh, ‘Shuri, there’s something that I need to tell you.’”
She continued to explain how the moment was cut “to make it a surprise for the audience and to Shuri. It was the right way to go. Perfect to go about it.”
A surprising moment that did however make the final cut was the end of Queen Ramonda’s reign in Wakanda. In a tragic attack carried out by the Talokan people led by Namor (Tenoch Huerta), her character was fatally drowned.
“I was not happy about that,” remembered Bassett of learning of her character’s death.
“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.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was released in theaters Nov. 11 and earned $180 million during its opening weekend, breaking the record for a November film opening in North America. As the second-biggest domestic debut this year, the superhero film has remained No. 1 at the box office for four consecutive weeks.
Watch the official trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever below.