Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger in "Black Panther"
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
  • Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige wanted "Black Panther" to be built around the villain Killmonger's final line of dialogue.
  • "It was one of the best lines we ever read," Feige told The Hollywood Reporter.
  • It was also the one line from the script that director Ryan Coogler feared Marvel would want to cut.

Director Ryan Coogler feared a now-essential line of dialogue from "Black Panther" would be cut. But it ended up laying the groundwork for the entire movie.

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told The Hollywood Reporter that the final line uttered by a dying Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan, was critical to the movie's story, and that he wanted Coogler to build the movie around it. It's also the one line from the script Coogler thought Marvel would want to cut.

In the scene, Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther offers to help Killmonger, who he just stabbed. Killmonger refuses, choosing instead to die while looking over Wakanda from the top of a cliff.

"Just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from ships, because they knew death was better than bondage," Killmonger says.

"That was in the first draft," Feige told THR. "It was one of the best lines we ever read. We said, 'There are going to be a lot of revisions, but don't touch that line.' And Ryan said, 'That's the line I thought you'd tell me to cut.' And we said, 'On the contrary, keep it and build more of the movie around it.'"

"Black Panther" is nominated for seven Oscars this year, including best picture. It's the first superhero movie to ever be nominated in the category.

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