At this point, it's no secret that Black Panther has become a sensation among moviegoers. The film was a critical success when it debuted in February, and it has experienced one of the most impressive box office performances of all time. Now we've learned that the film also earned one other particularly exciting accolade, as The Godfather's Francis Ford Coppola apparently loved the scene in which T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) confronted Zuri (Forest Whitaker) about the death of N'Jobu (Sterling K. Brown). On the Black Panther home release commentary, director Ryan Coogler explained:
The DNA of The Godfather is all over Black Panther, so it seems logical that Ryan Coogler would want to show the film to Francis Ford Coppola before releasing the final cut. Coppola's favorite scene takes place when T'Challa learns of the true origins of Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) as Wakandan royalty. He confronts Zuri about T'Chaka's mistakes in Oakland decades earlier when he murdered Killmonger's father in order to save Zuri after confronting his brother about his treachery. Given The Godfather franchise's similar use of past sins as storytelling devices, it makes quite a bit of sense to know that Coppola felt a notable connection to that scene and the way Coogler made that subplot play out -- to the point that Coppola wanted to see that scene again immediately after watching the film.
It's hard not to see why Francis Ford Coppola liked that scene so much. After all, one of the reasons audiences have flocked to Black Panther is for its nuanced take on politics and morality, and that scene specifically gets to the heart of the film's themes. The confrontation between T'Challa and Zuri is one of the scenes that provides an understandable rationale for Killmonger's point of view, which in turn helps flesh him out as one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's best villains.
Francis Ford Coppola isn't the only person who is fond of this particular subplot, as it sounds like Forest Whitaker is interested in reprising his role as Zuri in a future Black Panther movie. Though the character is dead now, Whitaker seems to think that Black Panther 2 could include him in a sequence taking place on the ancestral plane, which would allow T'Challa to get closure for his mentor's untimely death.
Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Avengers: Infinity War!
Of course, before we can see Marvel Studios flesh out this Wakandan political intrigue even further, we will need to see the current Phase Three storyline wrap up. Avengers: Infinity War ends with the death of T'Challa (among others) when Thanos (Josh Brolin) snaps his fingers an unleashes the power of the Infinity Stones, so the key objective right now is the resurrection of the Wakandan king. We can reasonably assume that T'Challa will be back because Black Panther 2 has already been discussed, but for now, it looks like he has joined Zuri in the afterlife.
Black Panther will be available on Digital HD from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment starting tomorrow, and the Blu-ray and DVD versions of the film will be available later this month on May 15. You can also currently catch T'Challa in Avengers: Infinity War, so make sure to check out the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster in theaters and add to its behemoth box office total!
Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.
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