If you need a little more T'Challa in your life, then you'll be happy to hear that Marvel Studios is seriously considering bringing Black Panther to the big screen. According to a report late last week by Heat Vision, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige confirmed that a Black Panther film is definitely back in development at Marvel, and that documentarian Mark Bailey has been hired to write the script.
This is not the first time we have heard about a Black Panther movie. In fact, back in the early 90's, a film was being developed by Columbia Pictures that would have starred actor Wesley Snipes. Can you imagine Wesley Snipes as Blade and T'Challa? Talk about a contradiction. There has also been another more recent adaptation of the character with the Animated Series that was set to air on BET two years ago- but never did.
== TEASER ==
BP Fans first caught a preview of the Black Panther Animated series at San Diego Comic-Con back in July of 2008. It is there that fans were promised a show focused on the popular African comic book character. However, after leaving BET, long time Black Panther writer and former President of BET Reginald Hudlin wanted to take the show with him; and conflicts regarding rights of ownership ensued, leading both parties to refrain from airing the show in the United States whatsoever.
The series, which was stylistically similar to a motion comic, was based on the art of John Romita Jr. and its script on Reginald Hudlin's Black Panther comic series published by Marvel. It was unfortunate that an afrocentric superhero like Black Panther wasn't able to air on BET, thus eliminating the opportunity to introduce the Black superhero to a whole new audience. The series did eventually air in Australia, however, and has since been available for purchase on iTunes. More recently, the show was also released on DVD. If you missed this show, and you are a Black Panther fan, I recommend you give it a shot as it happens to be pretty good.
It would have been nice to see the cartoon air on television, if for nothing more than to gauge how successful a film version of the character would be. When he was first introduced, Black Panther was presented as the ruler of Wakanda, an African country rich in Vibranium which had for centuries remained isolated from the rest of the world. Technologically advanced, while maintaining a rich culture and history, Wakanda is very different from the rest of the Marvel Universe and an interesting choice for the next Marvel film. With many different interpretations of Black Panther- both Ruler and spiritual incarnation of the Panther God- there are a variety of different avenues that Marvel could take T'Challa.
The idea that Black Panther is not only the warrior and protector of an entire country isn't exactly an idea grounded in reality; but then again, neither is the story of a sort of mad scientist who built a suit to fly around in. While it is evident that Marvel has, over the years, managed to bridge the gap between the spiritual and political elements that make Black Panther, how will he work on the big screen?
Would Marvel's film focus on the Black Panther, ruler of Wakanda who fights the Fantastic Four and Captain America, or would they make him the protector of Hells Kitchen and the new "Man Without Fear"?