Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” has grossed over $791 million worldwide so far in the month-and-a-half since its release. In addition, the film is on the awards circuit, trying to secure some nominations in certain categories.
Recently the film’s director Ryan Coogler revealed a lot of details about the original version of the screenplay written before Chadwick Boseman’s death – a version the actor never got time to read before his passing.
Now comes a new reveal from former “The Walking Dead” regular Danai Gurira, who plays Dora Milaje general Okoye in the films. Appearing as part of a 20 Questions podcast interview, Gurira spoke about deleted scenes that Marvel producer Nate Moore and Coogler had previous revealed.
Then she revealed one of her own – saying a deleted scene cut from the film for runtime reasons and was going to set up Okoye’s future in the MCU – she is no longer in the Wakandan army and goes on a walkabout, wandering the Earth to help where she can:
“There’s another [deleted scene] of mine that’s [Okoye] saying bye to Shuri. She catches her in Haiti unexpectedly, and Shuri says, ‘Are you going back to the Dora?’ and my character says no. And [Shuri] says, ‘Where are you going to go?’ and she says, ‘Wherever my blue suit takes me.’ And she just walks off. They have this beautiful moment, and then she just walks off.
[Ryan Coogler] was saying it’s kind of like that ‘Kung Fu’ show where the guy just walks the earth. She just walks off. We don’t know where Okoye is going. She’s just letting go. She was fighting to keep that position, and then she just let go. That’s kind of her arc. We don’t know where she goes and don’t know where that leads to, and exploring where that leads is very exciting for me.”
She continued on, saying it’s extra fascinating for her as she says Black women have that “strong black woman idea like we have to be strong for everyone”, and with all of us having seen Okoye broken and not being able to carry the burden anymore, what happens when she accepts that – where does that take her.
With much of the core cast either out (Boseman, Bassett, Gurira) or having their characters leave Wakanda (Nyong’o, Wright), it’s not clear what this means for the future of the fictional advanced country. There has been talk of a spin-off series on Disney+ which could answer the question of Okoye and/or Wakanda’s future.
Gurira will be seen next year in “The Walking Dead: Rick and Michonne” spin-off, which she confirms is targeting an airing around Halloween 2023.