This article contains spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Angela Bassett has thus far been regarded as a standout in the box office-dominating Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, so much so that her name has even been floated as a possible Oscar contender for the role. The film depicted her character Ramonda in her full power as Queen, mother, and (spoiler alert!) grandmother, although the latter relationship took place entirely off-screen.
At the end of Wakanda Forever, Shuri (Letitia Wright) discovers that her brother T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Naikia (Lupita Nyong’o) had a son who had been hidden away in Haiti. Nakia reassures Shuri that Ramonda had a chance to meet the boy (Divine Love Konadu-Sun) before the Queen’s untimely death. And according to Bassett, that meeting ended up on the cutting room floor.
Bassett tells Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast that she “filmed a scene” with the “precious little angel” Konadu-Sun, in which the boy calls Ramonda “Nanna.” “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 shares. “I went to Haiti, of course. I met him, I was introduced to him… but it wound up on the cutting room floor.”
The reason for removing the scene, she says, is “to make it a surprise for the audience and to Shuri,” something the actor agrees with: “It was the right way to go. Perfect to go about it.”
Something she did not agree with, Bassett reiterates, is Ramonda’s death. “I was not happy about that,” she says. “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 [director Ryan Coogler] 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.”
Apparently, Coogler sold Bassett on the plot twist by reminding her that death isn’t necessarily permanent in the Marvel Cinematic multiverse–so perhaps it’s not the last we’ll see of Queen Ramonda. Regardless, the royal family will clearly continue on.