Aside from a couple references to the events of Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther‘s main story was self-contained from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, following T’Challa as he took the throne, then lost it to Killmonger, then snagged it back. But after the movie’s credits, we briefly reunited with Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. the former Winter Soldier, a.k.a. Shuri’s first broken white boy. Bucky went back on ice at the end of Civil War so that the HYDRA programming in his head could be permanently removed, and from what we saw in Black Panther, he’s finally on the road to recovery. However, according to Sebastian Stan, originally Bucky’s scene was a lot longer. The actor explained:
In case you need a refresher, the Black Panther end-credits scene saw Bucky Barnes awakening in a hut in a Wakandan village as a bunch of kids (who called him White Wolf) watched. Shuri, who oversaw Bucky’s de-programming while he was in cryostasis, then arrived and began helping him with his recuperation, and the scene promptly cut to black. But as Sebastian Stan revealed during his panel at Wizard World Portland this weekend, there was a lot more we could have seen, particularly focusing on Bucky start to learn about Wakanda. Having spent decades as an unwilling assassin, spending time with the African nation’s citizens as his mind slowly heals is undoubtedly a great experience. Bucky should enjoy it while he can, because pretty soon he’ll be thrust back into conflict.
On the one hand, seeing Bucky becoming acquainted with Wakandan culture would have been interesting. On the other hand, while the mid/end-credits scenes can be interesting, after having already watched an over-two-hour movie, most viewers probably wouldn’t have wanted to see another extended sequence play out. So Sebastian Stan is likely right that the final version tacked on to Black Panther was the better choice. Sebastian Stan also expressed interest in Marvel one day releasing a collection full of MCU extended/deleted scenes, so if that happens, it’s a good bet that this longer Bucky sequence will be included.
Black Panther will be available for purchase on Digital HD starting May 8, and the Blu-ray and DVD copes will hit shelves on May 15. But before those releases, you can watch Bucky team up with Steve Rogers, T’Challa and all the major MCU heroes in Avengers: Infinity War, which opens on April 27. Don’t forget to also look through our 2018 premiere guide to learn what other major motion pictures are arriving later this year.