The initial cut of director Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther was incredibly lengthy, from the sound of things. Before being cut down to a more reasonable 2 hours and 15 minutes, the film was nearly twice as long.
According to longtime Coogler collaborator and Black Panther composer Ludwig Goransson, the very first iteration of the film was four hours in length. But what’s particularly interesting is his dedication to his work — since Coogler does not put temporary scores in his movies, Goransson explained to The Hollywood Reporter that he composed the entirety of the movie’s rough cut:
“I remember the first director’s cut was four hours long, but I already had a lot of material written and recorded. So, I actually scored the four-hour cut of the film. Which is really great.”
It should be noted that the rough cut being four hours isn’t necessarily an uncommon occurrance, considering said cut is more or less a complete collection of footage — some of which would be redundant to actually include in the theatrical release — that was filmed throughout the movie’s production. Such practices are usually normal and ultimately lead to a more satisfying theatrical experience. Still, it’s quite the commitment to score an extensively-long version of a movie knowing full well that half of what you have worked on won’t ever be heard!
Black Panther is now playing in theaters. Directed by Ryan Coogler, the movie features a cast that includes Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa (Black Panther), Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Forest Whitaker as Zuri, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Florence Kasumba as Ayo, John Kani as T’Chaka, Sterling K. Brown as N’Jobu, Michael B. Jordan as Erik “Killmonger” Stevens (Golden Jaguar), Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue, and Winston Duke as M’Baku (Man-Ape).
Source: The Hollywood Reporter