Now that Marvel’s Black Panther has been in theaters for several months, director Ryan Coogler is clearing the air on one piece of the movie that was particularly difficult for him. While there’s a lot to love about the MCU film, there’s a character death that upset him during production.
Speaking to the Toronto Sun, Coogler admits the decision to kill Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) was not something he was a fan of. “I like [Klaue],” he tells the newspaper. “I was bugged by having to do that. It’s tough when you have to kill characters off and I really did love that character.”
Still, the director understands that it’s a decision made for the movie’s benefit. “I love Andy, he’s a lovely person,” Coogler says. “But again, it’s one of those things where when you’ve got so many people in a movie, some of them have to go.”
While Klaue may not have ended up being the last man standing in the MCU, Coogler believes the character–and Serkis–did get the chance to shine in Black Panther. “[Klaue] in this movie, he’s just having a good time,” he says. “Every scene he’s in, he’s walking in like it’s the best day of his life. He’s got a swagger to him that’s interesting and for me it was cool to see Andy act like that. It was a real pleasure.”
The character first appeared in Avengers: Age of Ultron and made the franchise’s first mention of Wakanda. In the comics, he’s known as Klaw. Given how playful he was in Black Panther, it’s hard to imagine the movies making better use of him in the future. While seeing him go was unfortunate, at least he went out at his peak.