EXCLUSIVE: Wesley Snipes Discusses the Black Panther Live-Action Movie
CBM's own Brent Sprecher chats with Wesley Snipes about his interest in playing T'Challa in a live-action Black Panther movie!
Actor Wesley Snipes was the first major Hollywood actor to push for a comic book movie franchise with a black male lead when he announced his intentions to make a live-action movie based on the Marvel Comics character T'Challa, aka The Black Panther, back in June 1992. This was before he would turn Marvel's C-list character Blade into a major movie franchise and years before comic book movies became the hottest thing in Hollywood.
"We have a wide-open field for comic book characters on the big screen and we've yet to have a major black comic book hero on the screen. Especially the Black Panther, which is such a rich, interesting life. It's a dream come true to originate something that nobody's ever seen before." -Wesley Snipes, August 1993
Development on The Black Panther continued throughout the '90s and into the early '00s, but due to the success of the Blade franchise, Snipes was no longer thought to be viable in the title role. As late as June 2006, Snipes was still actively working on bringing T'Challa to the big screen. Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige confirmed in February 2007 that The Black Panther was on Marvel Studios' slate of projects in development.
During the recent San Diego Comic-Con, I bumped into Wesley at the EW/SyFy party and asked him if he was still interested in starring as T'Challa in The Black Panther movie. Snipes said:
"I think they [the studio] think I'm too old now."
When I asked him if he would take the role if it was offered to him, he said:
"Only if they do it right. It would have to be big, epic...Wakanda, the whole deal."
Snipes showed that he's keeping abreast of what's happening with the character when I ased him if he was aware of The Black Panther animated series produced by Marvel and BET:
"Oh, yeah. Reggie Hudlin developed that."
Since so many involved with Marvel's current slate of films were present at the party, including Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Tom Hiddleston, Kat Dennings and Joss Whedon, I asked Snipes if he thought the Black Panther might show up in The Avengers and he left me with a very nebulous response:
"You never know."
So, what do you think, CBMers? Do you want to see a live-action Black Panther movie? Is Snipes too old to play T'Challa? Should the Black Panther be in The Avengers? Sound off below!
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