Many years before Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther” became a critical and cultural phenomenon, actor Wesley Snipes wanted to adapt the character on film and play the role back in the mid-1990s.
That didn’t happen of course and Snipes went on to play a different Marvel hero in 1998’s “Blade,” the film which began the ‘comic book movie renaissance’ that has dominated multiplexes for the past two decades.
Out doing promotion of “Dolemite Is My Name,” Snipes was asked about the abandoned project and he opened up a big about what he would’ve done:
“I had the rights to Black Panther maybe four or five years before the Blade project came around. When Blade came around, since we didn’t do Black Panther, our version of it, I thought, ‘Well, this would be a cool opportunity for me to do something for truly my friends. All the martial arts cats, all the cats that love Shaft, and all the cats that ever wanted to be a vampire and bite a chick on the neck.’
At that time [mid-90s], we didn’t actually have the technology [to do Black Panther], but we would have done all the Vibranium. All the x-ray vision and virtual operation and the whole nine of it. I wanted it to be like the comic book was [with a] super city and super science.”
Chadwick Boseman ultimately went on to play the hero who first showed up in “Captain America: Civil War” before getting his own film which raked in $1.3 billion at the global box office and earned multiple Oscar nominations.
A sequel to that film is currently in the works at Marvel for a May 2022 release and a new piece in The Wall Street Journal this week reveals that Coogler is “just beginning the process of outlining the story” for the new film which apparently has some way to go before it’ll be ready for shooting. Filming isn’t expected to happen until very late 2020/very early 2021.
"When BLADE came around, since we didn't do Black Panther…I thought well this would be a cool opportunity for me to do something for truly my friends. All the martial arts cats, all the cats that love Shaft…"
Wesley Snipes & and I geek out about Blade, Black Panther & more. pic.twitter.com/wkdKiRoR2H
— Kevin McCarthy (@KevinMcCarthyTV) September 30, 2019