While most people wouldn’t have minded if Marvel’s Black Panther went on for four hours, it was the job of the film’s brilliant editor, Michael Shawver (Fruitvale Station, Creed) to cut down the runtime to a much more reasonable 135 minutes.
From the end result, it's pretty clear that Shawver did a really great job editing the movie without having it lose coherence or dramatic heft, but according to him, leaving some scenes on the cutting room floor were painful.
Shawver revealed that the scene that was the "most painful" for him to cut out of the film was one between the border tribe's head of security, W'Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) and the head of the Dora Milaje, Okoye (Danai Gurira). Speaking with The Wrap about the scene, Shawver said:
"Toward the end, after things go bad and Killmonger is in control and all that, we’re talking about, what are they going to do? What is Wakanda going to become?
Those are two powerhouse actors and it was an incredible scene with so many layers to it — boyfriend and girlfriend, it was general and her advisor, all those things. That was painful."
The second scene that was painful to cut was one between T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and his uncle, Zuri (Forest Whitaker). It was a scene that was meant to show just how strong their bond actually was. Speaking about the scene, Shawver continued:
"There’s a scene between Chadwick and Forest’s characters which sets up their relationship. It sort of lets you attach yourself to their father-son dynamic so that later on in the film, you really feel more."
Well thankfully, those scenes are not lost forever. According to Shawver, they will be available as DVD Extras when the film finally gets a home release. The movie, which recently crossed $1 billion at the box office, is still showing in cinemas nationwide.