The movie is on course to be a huge success at the international box office, and in the US in particular it could very well break the record for the highest President’s Day opening ever.
With a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s also poised to go down as one of the greatest Marvel movies of all time.
But in pursuit of a tight final edit, did the studio’s first ever LGBTQ+ relationship end up cut?
That’s certainly what’s being speculated, after Variety noted that Danai Gurira’s Okoye and Florence Kasumba’s Ayo were seen having a brief moment of flirtation in early footage shown last year.
Marvel, at the time, moved to say that their relationship was not romantic – and that it was not based on a storyline from the original World of Wakanda comic.
Now, that ostensibly flirtatious moment is not in the film at all.
Speaking to Screen Crush, co-writer Joe Robert Cole was asked if the inclusion of an LGTBQ+ element was intentional.
“I think the short answer is yes. I know that there were quite a few conversations around different things, different directions with different characters, and characters that we may have,” he said.
“We thought, ‘Well, maybe we’ll work it this way with an arc or work it that way with an arc.’
“The scene you’re talking about, I don’t remember. I can’t remember the exact exchange you’re talking about, but I think it was really brief. I’m not sure. I know that it was not – there wasn’t some major theme through that we were looking to explore with that in terms of the story.”
Black Panther is out now.