Dominique Thorne made her onscreen debut as Riri Williams when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hit theaters last fall. However, fans can expect her to make a much bigger splash in the MCU later this year as the star of Marvel’s Ironheart series on Disney+. Thorne still doesn’t have a lot of credits to her name. But in 2016, she landed on Marvel’s radar when she auditioned to play T’Challa’s sister, Shuri, in the first Black Panther while still attending Cornell University. Now, the studio has finally shared a portion of Thorne’s original Black Panther screen test. As a bonus, the clip even shows her acting opposite T’Challa himself, the late Chadwick Boseman.
Footage from Thorne’s Shuri audition appears in Marvel’s Assembled: The Making of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which premiered on Disney+ earlier today. The documentary special takes viewers behind the scenes of last year’s critically-acclaimed sequel. In the video below, Thorne and Boseman run through part of the scene where Shuri shows T’Challa some of the technology she’s been working on in her lab. Like Letitia Wright, Thorne uses an accent to convincingly play T’Challa’s sister. Boseman is also seen wearing a Stand Up To Cancer shirt, perhaps in reference to his own late-stage diagnosis that he kept private for four years until his death in 2020.
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Presumably, Thorne and Boseman lacked the chemistry that director Ryan Coogler and the producers were looking for. Because in the end, the part of Shuri went to Wright, who succeeded Boseman as the new Black Panther in Wakanda Forever last year. Regardless, producer Nate Moore explains in a voiceover that they were so impressed by Thorne’s screen test that she was their “first and only call” to play Riri in the sequel. And luckily for her, they didn’t make her audition a second time.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD. The film is also currently streaming on Disney+. Thorne will reprise her role as Riri when Ironheart arrives on Disney+ later this year.
What do you think of Thorne’s Black Panther screen test? Do you think she would have made a good Shuri in the original film? Let us know in the comment section below!
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