Black Panther

Black Panther Director Explains Why *That* Marvel Character Only Shows Up In Post-Credits Scene

*Warning: SPOILERS for Black Panther follow …

Black Panther director Ryan Coogler has explained why Bucky Barnes, aka the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) isn’t in the film.

Speaking on Empire’s podcast (via Collider), Coogler discussed the decision to have Bucky only show up in the film’s post-credits scene. As fans will recall, Bucky was put on ice in Wakanda at the end of Captain America: Civil War in the hopes that the nation’s scientist could find a cure for him. However, despite being in Wakanda throughout the events of Black Panther, the character is a no-show.

According to Coogler, Bucky would have been totally useless to T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) in his fight to regain control of Wakanda on account of his “horrible PTSD” and the fact that he “would need spiritual guidance” before being able to help, so the director made the decision to sit him out.

“The last thing he would need to do is jump into that Civil War, and so that was kind of the thought process there,” Coogler explained. “And it could be potentially problematic if it’s a bunch of Africans fighting and you bring in a white dude, he comes in shootin’ people (laughs). We were aware of that. Bucky’s not trained to neutralize people peacefully, he’s an assassin.”

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That said, Coogler made an effort to drop hints about Bucky’s situation, with dialogue that points to Shuri (Letitia Wright) looking after him. “We kind of drop the hint at that when they bring Ross (Martin Freeman) in and she’s like, ‘Oh another one,'” he said. “So we dropped hints in there, but what we kind of decided was that her cracking his mental code, if Shuri’s as smart as she is, that wouldn’t really be a big problem.”

For more on Black Panther, check out our review and why Marvel Studios is eager to get Coogler back to direct a sequel. 

Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)

Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)