Editor Mike Shawver Meet: Dark Puma Wakanda Until the end of time

Dark Jaguar: Wakanda Until the end of time editor Mike Shawver prods cut scenes, honoring Chadwick Boseman, and the significance of investigating Shuri's viewpoint.

Dark Jaguar: Wakanda Until the end of time wraps up MCU's Stage Four, at the same time presenting modern corners and characters to the universe whereas honoring the memory of Chadwick Boseman. The profoundly expected spin-off takes after Shuri, Ramonda, Okoye, and Nakia as they grieve T'Challa at the side the aggregate of Wakanda. A unused danger to Wakanda emerges, in the mean time, when Namor and Talokan drag the vibranium-rich nation into a mystery war against their covered up submerged kingdom.

Mike Shawver, a longtime collaborator of Ryan Coogler's, returned as an editor for Dark Puma: Wakanda Until the end of time. Shawver has already worked with Coogler on Fruitvale Station, Ideology, and Dark Puma, underscoring a productive relationship that has yielded extraordinary craftsmanship. He too altered John Krasinski's A Calm Put Portion II, which highlights his capacity for bringing out the finest minutes over a few classes.

Screen Tirade had the honor of talking with Shawver almost astounding scenes that were cut from Dark Jaguar: Wakanda Forever, working with Coogler to make the most excellent film conceivable, and lamenting Chadwick Boseman amid the generation handle. Shawver moreover shared a few capable bits of knowledge, such as a sound impact that ties Shuri and Ramonda's pain together all through the motion picture.

Mike Shawver On Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Screen Tirade: Dark Jaguar: Wakanda Until the end of time truly takes you through the lamenting handle. Can you conversation almost the altering prepare, in spite of the fact that, from the primary Dark Puma to Dark Puma: Wakanda Until the end of time?

Mike Shawver: I think with the first one, there was a lot of unknowns, not having done a Marvel movie at that point and working with that level of visual effects. Usually, as an editor, we get the footage. They shoot the footage and say, "Here's a large amount of clay to make what we wrote in the script. Now do it in your own way." You have a finite amount of pieces, but it's a puzzle with no picture on the box to guide you. With Marvel movies, you are actually involved in and responsible for making some of the clay. I joke that editors are like Rumpelstiltskin, where they take the straw and turn it into gold, but the biggest learning curve was that now I have to grow the straw and figure out what pieces worked. There are a good amount of similarities, in terms of what we had to do in building a world. In the first movie, we had to build Wakanda. For the second one, we had to build Talokan and show even more of Wakanda. Ryan is unbelievable when it comes to research. He's always learning, he's always studying, and we're always trying to get better. We come from a place of not knowing; we don't go in it knowing all the answers. We're like, "What the heck are we going to do?" Then we figure it out, and that's what makes it organic. Before the first one, he had me put together sequences of any movie I could think of that built a war, right? Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Willow, anything you can imagine. We could see how it was done by the greats who did it before us. In the first one, T'Challa was already the Panther, but there was still an origin story in terms of becoming the leader he needed to be, making the right choice, and not doing things the same way as they have always been done. The interesting thing about this one is that it doesn't go the normal route in a lot of different ways. In a lot of superhero movies, you show the character do something that makes you think, "Oh, they should do this here. They're good enough." Shuri is not that character; she doesn't realize it until that moment [with Namor]. "Which path am I going to take? Am I going to end this guy's life? Am I going to try to do things better than he did?" With that whole moment, where we see their shared trauma and [she remembers] the things that she saw underwater, they salute and we salute. That's the moment as opposed to the audience being like, "Yeah, this person needs to be the Panther. I'm really excited." She didn't even know what she wanted to do. She could take the path that is the Killmonger path, which would be a fun movie for sure, but we know in our heart of hearts that she's got to encompass the mantle that her brother left. Even though she doesn't know how or what, which was a challenge because that's a little more unique way of doing it. There's a reason why a lot of movies do similar things: because they work. They work to pull our heartstrings; they work for that emotion. With this one, we had to come from the grief. It had to come from the grief that she had. It had to come from grief that Namor worked through on his own path to get there and give his people what his mom wanted. Those things are actually what cause a lot of the big action scenes, as opposed to people responding to an event or an antagonist. I don't like to use the word villain; I like antagonist better, because the antagonist is just somebody who tests the protagonist. That's sort of how we handle Killmonger and handle Namor. They're right about a lot of things; they just go about it the wrong way. Obviously, the lessons we learn with Killmonger [helped]. Mike's great performance allowed us to know a little bit more and have more experience with what to do after having gone through the heartache, the happy times, and whatever else. The more you do, the more you expand on what you can.

Completely. Dark Puma: Wakanda Until the end of time is one of the longest movies in Stage Four, but it never feels that way since the pacing is fair so fabulous. How did you ace the pacing with how much required to be secured within the motion picture?

Mike Shawver: What we always do is we come from the perspective of a character. 99%, if not 100% of the time, it'll come from the protagonist. We start the movie with Shuri, though there are departures, obviously. Ramonda has amazing scenes where Shuri's not involved, like the UN and Ramonda needing to queen up and go do her thing and get her daughter back when Shuri gets taken. Aside from those few things, everything comes from Shuri's perspective. If we do our job in terms of the beginning of the movie and the setup and get you on Shuri's side, you want her to succeed and want her to win. The audience puts their own hopes and fears into what the movie's going to be for this person, for themselves, for experiences that they've had through grief. It's that plus being honest to what the grieving process is, which is different for everybody. Those were some of the core themes that we kept in mind. We would have meetings every Monday morning, and Ryan would remind us, "Hey, let's be mindful. Let's be thoughtful. Let's take care of each other. Let's look out for each other. Make sure you're drinking water." Then he would talk about themes in the movie. "Let's remember when we're doing this, let's focus on that." Those core things let you experience everything that happens through that lens of Shuri. There's chronological time, which is 2 hours and 41 minutes, but then there's experiential time. When it's real and you're going through [it] with people, it doesn't feel slow. It's why I think the movie doesn't feel like a 2-hour-and-41-minute movie. Then the other thing is, the end of the movie and how you feel at the end changes based on what comes before every time we watch the movie. When we go into Shuri's head at the end, and she sees that shared trauma, that helped us hone in on what was truly necessary for Talokan, because that Talokan scene was at least three times as long when we first came up with it. We were working on it early in pre-production, trying to make it work. Then you just keep watching the movie. I think most movies are 20 minutes too long, and you can quote me on that. We test the movie with audiences who watch it and are honest with us. They say, "This part's too slow. We don't need this," so it's all those things.

Out of interest, fair with Wonder motion pictures, do you folks have a mandate of, "This must come in at this time?" Or is it beautiful much like, "Hey, let's fair put the finest movie together ready to, and on the off chance that it happens to be this time, that's what it's reaching to be."

Mike Shawver: We always say we've got to play the game the right way. We've got to do right by Chad and do right by Shuri's story. We've got to do right by Namor and by Riri. Obviously, there's a lot of stuff going on. We do that to ourselves. There are certain filmmaking things that you kind of learn, which is the audience will give you 10 minutes, and they have to feel like they're in good hands in those first 10 minutes. Then they can let go, go on the journey, and let you guide them. When we were making the movie, the first 15 to 20 minutes only felt like 5 in a good way. We were like, "Okay, cool. We are getting all this real estate into this because of the pace, because of the flow, because of even tiny things." Originally, we were supposed to cut off of Shuri from the funeral, go to black and then have the logo come up. At one point we were going to have world leaders say words about T'Challa and how important he was to the world. But when we did that, it felt too busy. It felt like, "Okay, it's a chapter, chapter, chapter thing." Then I was like, "What if we do something crazy and fade Shuri's face into the Chadwick logo, so the moment she goes away, he comes up?" Then we take the concept that Ramonda talks about to her on the riverbank before they meet Namor, about how she felt him with his hand on her shoulder like the breeze in the air. We took a wind sound and put it over the logo so that you watch that and think, "Oh, this is a moment of silence." But there's actually wind there, which relates to what you find out later and comes back at the very, very end. As an audience member, when you go watch it again, you'll hear that and see that and realize that. But in the first experience of it, we're finding ways for the audience to relate to these characters with their words and actions, and even more so with the subversive themes and little relational things, so they feel like they're all a part of it. Some people feel [the length of the movie], for sure. I've seen reports of it, but more people than not feel like it's the right length that it should be for what we needed to do in the story we have to tell.

You've worked with Ryan Coogler a couple of times, on both Dark Jaguar and Ideology. Can you conversation to me approximately working with him as a collaborator in post-production?

Mike Shawver: If you want the whole story, that would probably take years because he is just unbelievable. It's hard to put him in a category of anything because he's such an amazing human being. He's the nicest; so thoughtful, so caring of everybody, and he believes that the people who make the movie are more important than the movie itself. When you do it like that, you care about the people around you and support them. If someone's having a bad day? "Take off, go home, go see your kids, do whatever." That kind of thing. We all have kids now, and my son was two during the first one. He didn't have any kids at that point; now he's got two kids. My son's six, and he's jumping on Zoom, and so is his daughter. “Let me see blue people, let me see blue people.” You know what I mean? We embrace where we are. Working with Ryan is very, very organic. He is so open. At times I'm like, "Yo, can you take a look at this scene? Because I just want to know what you think." He'll just let me go and do stuff. He'll tell me what he thinks, and I'm like, "All right, cool. Point me in the direction and let me cut." He's open to anything, even if it's something he was adamantly against the entire time, if it works. I've worked with a few different co-editors, and usually there's two of us at the time. If both editors are like, "A is better than B," even though he liked B, he would put A in because he can let that go. He understands that this movie is for everybody, and we've talked enough and care about the story enough that we have a level of ownership. We wouldn't do something that's not for the movie first. For me, this was my grieving process for Chad. As an editor, you have a really strange relationship with actors where you see them every single day. You stare at them every day; you know their stress, you know their weaknesses. You care about them, you love them, you want the best for them, and you know their flaws. Then you meet them at the premiere, and they're like, "Who are you?" because they've never met you before. I'm not saying that was Chad at all, because I was on set sometimes. Sometimes it was Chad, and sometimes I was talking to T'Challa because he stayed in character between takes. Then later on, we did panels and we did some events and stuff once the movie came out. I wasn't involved in the inner circle grieving process, and I'm not saying by any means that I should have been, but I had my own process to go through for my own unique experience with him. I would tell Ryan sometimes, "Look, I understand that point. But for me and for the rest of the world, maybe we keep this line in because it helps us grieve for him." There's a really interesting thing with movies where the more specific you make something, the more universal it becomes. Honing in on Shuri's story, her loss and her family, allows the world to grieve for Chad and to come out the other side feeling like, "Okay, we can move on and move forward." They can relate to the people they've lost, whether friends, family, pets, or the world that they lived in and don't live in anymore. The rug in 2019 got pulled out from under us, and we're still trying to figure out what this is. Not everybody can get a level of therapy or whatever. Having this experience, whether you're crying for this character or the sister or mom, helps you in letting go. You're letting it out; you're having a cathartic experience. There has to be a level of humanity and personality. I think it was Abraham Lincoln who said, "If you give me six hours to chop down a tree, I'll take four hours to sharpen the ax." Sitting there talking about [our lives with Ryan], we learn about ourselves and evolve ourselves and then implement that into the movie. Then months later, we watch the movie again and say, "Hey, what if we did this?" It's a very organic process. The other thing that I would say is that Ryan understands life and responsibility and people. I think you can really feel that in the movie.

Was there anything that changed from the starting script to altering? Were there any scenes you completely adored that had to be cut?

Mike Shawver: Oh, yeah. The first cut that we showed Ryan was almost four hours and 30 minutes. Yeah, there's a lot. I know people would be here for it, right?

I would certainly observe four hours of Wakanda Until the end of time.

Mike Shawver: I think it would be great in a couple years if there was just a Wakanda anthology that takes everything about Wakanda, including Civil War, Black Panther, the stuff that they'll continue to do in the future. We basically have a chronological history box set as a series. There's a whole bunch of stuff. Obviously, there are scenes wholesale that we had to lose just for time. There are trims, and there are always lines cut out. One of the bigger things that we lost, which helped the movie pacing-wise but [hurt] some of the emotional connection and resonance, was when Shuri and Riri are underwater. There was actually a subplot where they helped Namor design something for his people. He was still deliberating whether to kill Riri or not, and to buy time, Shuri was like, "Hey, we can help you. If we're here, we might as well." We lost time, which was good, and we didn't necessarily need that for the story to work. What makes Ryan's movies work is the emotion, the interpersonal relationships, and having these two, because there were some real bonding moments between Riri and Shuri, and these two young brilliant women dealing with very similar things, they're both dealing with loss they're both feeling kind of like misfits. They're so smart and trying to find their place in this world, so we lost that a little bit. We just had to counterbalance that and get Riri involved more later. Just helping Shuri devise the plan and figuring stuff out with science and helping build the suit. That stuff came a little bit later, which helped the overall movie because if we didn't have the need for that stuff with her helping the plan and that montage before the big end battle, their plan and that big end battle wouldn't have meant as much. We wouldn't be in on it, and we wouldn't have associated with people we care about. They're people who are at their lowest point and building up. There are some moments where they bonded, and it was really good. Obviously, every actor in this movie is just phenomenal. I'm so proud of everybody. I had all the problems of, "I've got eight good takes, what do I do?" But that's my job. I got to figure it out and work around it. There was so much beautiful stuff in that funeral, but we can't spend all day there. We found the best stuff. We found the movie. I'd say, wholesale, there's a scene that was taken out. I don't think Marvel would be mad at me saying this because there was a shot in the first teaser from this scene. There was a scene where Okoye, after she gets fired, tries to go get Shuri herself undercover at night. She goes to try to get on a ship, and the Dora Milaje stop her. They point the spears, and she's ready to fight them for Shuri. It was in Wakanda at night outside, but it was really tense. Okoye, who obviously is a fan favorite and so badass, it having to face her sisters. It was a great scene, but holding it down to Shuri's story mainly was what worked best for this.

How early on are you folks brought into the pre-production prepare to assist shape the film?

Mike Shawver: Yeah, it's a great question. My relationship with Ryan makes it slightly different because we've worked together for about 13 years now. For better or worse, he knows that if there's something in the script that doesn't make sense, at some point we're going to talk about it. I was involved in the first version of the script when Chadwick was still with us. I was involved in that whole thing and the ups and the downs and working that script out. Then obviously, with Chad passing, "Are we going to do something? What do we do?" Even before that, I was working on storyboards and pre-vis. They would give me storyboards and I would cut them together with some music and sound to like, "Okay, is this working?" Then, if that worked, they would give it to our pre-vis team. Then they would do the pre-vis, and then they would send it to me. Then, when they're getting ready to shoot, I like [to] go up at the least a month before. Even just getting with the team, getting on the same page, giving my input, cutting this stuff, working this stuff out. The more we can do early, it's always going to change. You're always going to rewrite it, but let's get in now. There were times when Ryan would be shooting it, but something's not working for me, so I'd go ahead and say, "Hey, can we do this? Can we do that?" There's stuff that each editor and some of the assistants and some of the VFX editors came up with to bolster the story. One, I had fortunately been able to edit A Quiet Place II, so the horror elements in this and the thriller elements, I had something to draw from. During the attack in the Atlantic Ocean at the beginning when we first meet the Talokans, there's a shot of the divers off in the distance after the lights go out. The lights go out, then we cut back to them and weird stuff's happening up top, and then we cut back down. I didn't feel the fear enough from the divers, because when they finally got taken out, I didn't emotionally react because it wasn't set up that way. I found a shot of them off in the distance, I went down the hall to the team, and I said, "Hey, I mocked something up where I took this just black dot and moved it across the screen. Can you guys just put a body in there and see what this feels like to have that white frame? Pput a little stinger in there." Even though it's not a jump scare, it's that unease. It's stuff like that. On the first one, there's a big learning curve that you could do anything you want as long as you have the time. That's the other thing too, being involved early and having input early lets you solve the problems, but it's also going to go through 100 different iterations. You can get ahead of that and have enough time when you actually find what that piece is. The Riri and Namor do-si-do dog fight in the end was one of the scenes that took us probably the longest to get right because there's a lot. There's like, "Okay, how do we make this feel more like a plan?" At one point, it was just her and Namor, and they were going underwater and above water. That was a super cool idea, but it felt too long. We're like, "Okay, what's the plan?" We finally, talking story, get to the point, "Okay, why is she formidable for Namor?" Well, because no one can move like he can, but now she can. He's never seen anything like that before, so it throws him off a little bit. And she gets the best of him, which obviously you want the character to do. Then we throw in right before she shoots for the queen to bring in that love you had for the person who we fell in love with at the beginning and all that stuff. I like to get in there early and just get going.

This can be one of the as it were Wonder movies that doesn't have a post-credit scene. There was a parcel of conversation and dialog on Twitter and stuff approximately a Specialist Fate post-credit scene. Was that something that was really ever considered or was that something that was tossed out there by the fandom?

Mike Shawver: That's a really good question. I never heard anything or had any conversations about that aside from, "Hey did you hear this rumor?” Because I'm a comic nerd too. I read the rumors, I'm excited about stuff. I'm a fan. This is, obviously, a very unique movie. We are walking this line that has almost never had to be walked before between reality and fantasy. We needed to make sure this movie was what it was, and there was never any pressure to connect the major universe. It was always, "Is this the best way for our story to honor Chadwick, to show Shuri, to give the world something through which they can grieve and have a cathartic experience? Is this movie self-contained?" We make sure that you do not have to see any of these movies beforehand to get what it is. I think that was the mentality at the end. With that said, the executives like Kevin, Lou, and Victoria; Nate Moore, our producer; Kiana, who is another producer that works with us... They're so detail-oriented and so thoughtful and just turn over every rock. "What is the best idea? What can we do?" I would not doubt that it was discussed somewhere else, but they respected what Ryan wanted to do and what we wanted to do. It just had to honor Chadwick. We felt like the right thing to do was to keep it to that. As a fan, I'd love to see the multiverse version, but I think leaving people with the feeling that we did was more important than, "Oh cool. That's coming up."

You have got to honor Chad's memory and honor T'Challa, which may be a difficult adjusting act to induce right. How did honoring his memory impact the altering prepare?

Mike Shawver: Good question. Obviously, there's the funeral. That is about him; focused on him and on that loss. We set out with the idea that we would talk about him in terms of, "your brother, my brother, my son," but we didn't want to overstay our welcome with that stuff. I think there's a balance, much like grieving and going through it in life, you have to move on. Shuri has to move on to other things she has to tackle and other obstacles that come her way while she's dealing with this. We very much found the moments where it was pertinent for her story to bring it up. When her mom's pushing her to make another heart-shaped herb, she's like, "I wasn't doing it for the Panther. I was doing it to save my brother." When she talks to Namor on the stairs, when he's like, "Only the most broken people make the best leaders," and she's like, "I didn't understand why I was given all these gifts and I couldn't save my brother." It all is about that. Then even during "Where did you learn how to do this?" "Oh, my brother taught me." It's all her. That first word is about him and that loss, but then the rest of the movie is about moving on and how you grieve. Everybody grieves him differently in this movie and it represents the very few of the infinite ways people do grieve. Originally, we were only going to have one shot of T'Challa at the end, and it was going to come at the very end. She was going to get through it, and then shut her eyes and it was going to be him, and then we're going to end the movie. That was the idea while we were shooting. But Letitia's performance is so brilliant with what she brought, and the pressures that she was under as a real person taking on the mantle. I've never seen a performance or an arc like this. She hit everything. It's incredible. That ending is very important. Originally, she burns her clothes. She just shut her eyes, took some time, and then sees him and then end of the movie. Then we were like, "We need that extra push. We need a little bit more." That's sort of the litmus test of, "Am I crying at the end of this?" Because if I could make myself cry, then hopefully everybody else will cry. We started looking back at the old movies. "Now, what if we have shot of him here where we saw him before?" Then we were like, "Well, what if it's the memorable moments between them?" We're always coming from the character's perspective when we can. The first thing you see is her POV of him walking down the hall, and then they do the dab, which is an iconic moment from that first movie. Then next is Warrior Falls; her smiling at her brother and him saluting. We took some liberties, but it's her going through that process. Then we have the wind there, like we spoke about. The mid-credit scene was originally the end of the movie. She was supposed to meet young T'Challa and then picture him. Burn the clothes, meet the kid, and that was the, "Oh, my brother, he's still [here]. I love you," moment. But Ryan's brilliant, and he really was the one who was like, "I think that kid is stepping on her story." It was a twist, and that's great, but it overshadowed the end of her journey. Then we were like, "What if we put it in the credits?" This great title company that we worked with, Perception, was pitching us ideas. They were like, "What do you guys think of burning the clothes?" Before we even told them we were putting the scene later, they had this idea of incorporating the burning of the clothes and the acceptance and moving on into the credits. With these great minds on the same page and focused on the same thing, we were able to make a credit sequence that feels like it's still part of the movie. It's even more shocking, because you're used to seeing mid-credit scenes that happen in a different part of the world or a different time or whatever. But to go right back to where you were and see the little out-of-focus kid walking by with his mom? Once we did that, we were like, "Yeah, this is the movie right here." After that, just let the credits roll and say, "For our friend, Chadwick."

I need to conversation approximately the individuals at Talokan. Was it clarified to you how and why they turn blue to assist you appear the alter through the alter?

Mike Shawver: Yeah, for sure. There are things in the movie that you really want to point to and really want to address and say, "Hey, this is this, and this works like this." It's there. It's not really spoken about. I think it's mentioned once toward the end of the montage that he doesn't look like them. But, in terms of them changing, that was just something that we did that was there. It can be interpreted, I think, in different ways. But ultimately, it's symbolic of the fact they have a new home, and they can be themselves in ways down there. When they're on the surface, they're seen as these monsters or these less than human creatues, or as superhuman. For editing, you need moments. You have an extra shot of them diving in and seeing them change, and you have an extra shot in the third act of them coming out of the water or in the flood. You're seeing that transition, but you don't want to point to things and distract people with information. You want to let the audience discover what they can. I think it was Kubrick who had a quote that really resonated with me, about how you put things there for the audience to discover. But if you can make them feel like they're discovering it on their own, you've got them. We look at everything under a microscope. Maybe we cut lines out of something that explains something, or we add lines to explain something. It's an ongoing process to make a movie.

I adored Riri Williams and the callbacks to Tony Stark's Press Man. Did you look at scenes within the unique Press Man to capture a few of those likenesses? How do you adjust that sense of sentimentality with a bequest character like Tony Stark whereas setting her separated as well?

Mike Shawver: Yeah, there was never originally an idea to connect them directly, but to give them similar moments and similar attitudes. You have to have a certain level of ego to build a suit that makes you fly. That's her character. Those were similarities we saw through her interactions with Shuri about being at MIT, or making that jock pay her for the work that she did for his project. We're taking that trope of someone who's a fish out of water, or maybe out of place because I'm sure there's not many people her age at MIT, and seeing those things play out through this organic story that's unfolding. Now, there's a line that we added later when they're in the garage. Shuri looks at Rri and what she's working on, and she goes, "What is this? Is this Stark tech?" We added the, "Is this Stark tech?" Because, we wanted to link to that love for Stark and Iron Man. Then, when the cops bust in right before the car chase, they go, "Oh, shit, she's got an Iron Man suit." It's subversive, and it's threaded into the world in an experiential way. It's a show-not-tell type of mentality, which is usually what we try to go for. But we would watch what the HUD, the heads up display, looks like. "What does Tony's look like? What does he do? What is this? What can hers look like? Is there an attitude that she can have in there?" His personality was in that in some ways. How is her personality put in that? Similar moves, like passing out and having to figure things out, which happened to him. It happened in Avengers too, that The Hulk catches him, which is obviously a flip on the original one. We're students of those who did it really well before us. Obviously, Iron Man was what started this whole world and that tone and those ideas. So, we took that. How do we make [it hers], all while folding it into the story and what needs to be done by these characters?

I need to conversation around the genealogical plane, since I cherish the reality that it outwardly changes from when T'Challa meets his father to when Shuri meets Killmonger. Can you conversation around making this unused form of the hereditary plane, and how it matches Shuri?

Mike Shawver: I think on the surface, Killmonger said it. He goes, "You chose me." The herb baths, all that stuff, reflects what's in your heart and not what you want on the surface. There are levels to it, and there's a lot of attention put into the misdirect. You think it's going to be Ramonda, and then it's not. We have Nakia say, "Ramonda," while she's praying, then we have the flashes of Ramonda and Shuri together. In the first movie, when T'Challa went under, he had flashes of his dad. When Killmonger went under, he had flashes of his dad. When Killmonger goes to his ancestral plane, that's in an apartment in Oakland, which is where his dad died. The throne room is where Ramonda did. Is this her? Those flashes came in post. That wasn't planned. But Killmonger's hair in that moment was done in a way that, when you see it from behind out of focus, you think Ramonda is right there. Shuri turns and says, "Mom? Mother?" Then you have that nice, long reveal where you see a small piece, and you're like, "Wait a second..." And it's her cousin. It's a marriage, I think, of giving people the same thing but flipping it. Because in the superhero tropes, this is the path we don't want her to take, even though we want to see her get her revenge in time. We want to see her do it, but we know deep down that the right thing is for her not to do that. That really set her on the course. Honestly, is there any other person that you could have there to push her down the path of rage and vengeance than one of the best villains ever? And Mike's unbelievable performance. We put the last thing she says in that scene to him later. We actually cut off the scene and pretend like she just wakes up. Later, when she's on the rock in the lowest point, where you think she might lose, that rage comes back. Then she burns Namor. It's 99% Ryan and him and his storytelling and his writing. The 1% is just the rest of us executing and making sure we don't mess it up, to be honest.

You folks do an astounding work. I adore A Calm Put, and I adore Dark Jaguar and Wakanda Until the end of time. Are there any other future ventures merely have the encourage to work on, whether it be a Wonder or DC character?

Mike Shawver: Yeah, that's a good question. This is going to sound cliche, but Star Wars. The first movie I remember watching was Star Wars. I was four. My dad was like, "I got Star Wars from the library." I'm like, "What is that?" Obviously, like many of us, our lives changed. I also like Batman. Batman is such a great character, and I especially love what they did with The Batman and bringing it to a more gritty thing, which is what the comics feel like to me, is getting away from the campy things. I know everybody knows how great he is, but Jordan Peele. I still think he's underrated. His movies stick with me. I like to think that when I work with Ryan, those movies stick with people. They leave theater, and there's something there that they think about days later. When I saw Nope in glorious IMAX, I really liked it. It was weird, because there were some parts where I'm like, "Yeah, but I don't know why they did that." Then a day later, I was like, " Now I get it." It's just great.

About Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Ruler Ramonda, Shuri, M'Baku, Okoye, and the Dora Milaje battle to protect their country from interceding world powers within the wake of Ruler T'Challa's passing. As the Wakandans strive to grasp their another chapter, the heroes must band along side Nakia and Everett Ross to produce a modern way for their cherished kingdom.

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