Director Reginald Hudlin Talks DJANGO UNCHAINED and BLACK PANTHER Involvement
Reginald Hudlin sat down with BlackFilm to chat about the 20 year anniversary of ‘92 comedy Boomerang, producing Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and the potential of the Black Pantherfilm.
To the comic-book world, Hudlin is most known for actually writing a Black Panther series for Marvel Comics (2005-2008). Notably, the 2006 Bride of the Panther storyline which fans saw T'Challa and Storm wed. He is also a producer for the western drama Django Unchained.
BlackFilm: San Diego Comic Con is coming up fast (July 11) and you’re always a fixture there, participating in the Black Panel and as the former writer of the Black Panther comic book. There’s been talk that Marvel is thinking of making a Black Panther film? Being an authority figure on the subject, who do you envision in the role?
Reginald Hudlin: Marvel owns the property and I knew that going in. People have been talking about doing a movie for many years, even before I got involved with the character. Clearly, I would love for it to be made. I’m very proud of my contribution to the Panther. I wrote the character for five years and I’ve sold more copies of the Black Panther than any other creator on the book. It’s up to Marvel’s decision as to who makes the film and what version they want to tell. In terms of actors, there are so many wonderful people that can be used, but it depends when they will make it. There’s no question that a movie like the Black Panther should have an all-star cast. From the main character, the royal family, the villains, it should be an epic. If it turns out that I can do something about the film, then I will, but until then, I’m working on a big kick ass film and hopefully that success will encourage people to make more movies about black heroes.
BlackFilm: This festival will be different as not only are you doing the panel, but you will also be there as a producer for Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained.’ How did you get involved with the project?
Reginald Hudlin: That came out of my relationship with Quentin. I’ve known him for several years and whenever we got together, we would always talk about movies. One time we were talking about the history of slavery on film and my frustrations with it. We debated on different movies and I talked about how I hated movies that aren’t entertaining but you’re supposed to watch them anyway because they are good for you. I don’t want to see those. I want to see films that are fun and entertaining and kick ass. For me, the only great film about slavery was ‘Spartacus,’ and if you’re not going to make a movie that entertaining about the American experience, I’m not interested. Little did I know, he was really listening closely to what I was saying and 15 years later, he hands me a script, saying, “You planted the seed, so now here’s the tree.” I’m like, “Wow!” We worked on the film and here we are.
BlackFilm: How much is your involvement as a producer?
Reginald Hudlin: It’s everything. I’ve been on it literally from the beginning. Quentin is a real auteur. He’s a brilliant filmmaker and I’m there to help out however he needs it. When we have creative conversations, or there are logistical problems that need to be solved, or any number of things that need to be addressed, as part of the production team, I’m there to help solve those problems so he can do his job and make his movie.
Django Unchained is set to be released December 25th 2012.
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