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Monday, February 24, 2014

EDITORIAL: Black Panther Fan-Cast!

Let me start off by saying; I am hoping this coming Comic-Con, Marvel finally announces ‘Black Panther’ as part of Phase 3. I am a big fan of the character & think he deserves a shot on the big screen. Many find it a controversial film, because of the possibility of “an all black cast” thus making it a “black film”. IMO, that doesn’t “count” for Marvel films. The Marvel brand appeals to all colors and creeds, so doing this character isn't as farfetched as doing Dr. Strange or even Guardians of The Galaxy. Also the possibility of a “advance African nation” shouldn’t scare anyone, does a “advanced alien nation” of Asgard discourage anyone from believing in it or being in awe by it? Also there’s a worry about how an advanced African nation, that has never been conquered, how do you portray that on film, will the citizens be in their traditional garb from years ago but use computer tech? Why can that NOT be possible? Why is it far fetched to think that people believe in their culture, they live their beliefs in the Panther God and that’s their spiritual awaking but are still engaged in technology to better their nation. To use this quote from a commenter on from the article “Marvel: Asgard Easier To Film Than A Black Civilization”:

“What makes T'Challa different than Thor or Captain America is that T'Challa actually has to rule a country and his decisions outside of his uniform actually affect millions of people. Thor can go on and on about how has to be humble if he wants to one day lead Asgard, but nothing he does in the movie has an immediate affect on more than a few hundred folks, including a one light town in New Mexico, at best. And he still has Daddy as the head of power. Hardly a test of a leader. And while Captain America is symbol who leads a team, Black Panther is a symbol who has to lead a nation”
. - Charles Judson
There’s what makes T’Challa and to an extension T’Chaka different from Thor, Odin and Asgard. Also from the rest of the Avengers. “Blade” was a superhero film, led by Wesley Snipes, about a black human/vampire from the inner city. Was this a “black film” ? No. Granted, I can acknowledge that it won’t be easy to bring this film to mainstream audiences, Marvel is winning half the battle by bring Guardians of the Galaxy to them and showing them enjoying yourself and investing in their characters is a great way to escape from “our world” and enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


A director with a certain vision will be needed for this film to be great. Even though John Singleton has been rumored/attached to this film for years nothing has come around for it, and being as he is directing a Tupac Shakur biopic, he’s off the table. Though i like Singleton and how he works, I personally believe the man for the job is ‘12 Years a Slave’ Steve McQueen.

Yes I “went there”. Why not? Does he not deserve a shot to direct a big mainstream movie? If so why not Black Panther? it’ll be an easier way to sell the film. “Academy Award Winning/Nominee Director Steve McQueen” Why wouldn’t Marvel want that on poster and during marketing of the film? Also, like Thor, this film can be cast with big stars in supporting roles, that cross over “black and white audiences”. Vision makes these movies great, IMO, not if a director has or hasn’t been working with films that cost 100+ million dollar budgets.

The Cast.

First, the father of T’Challa; T’Chaka. The proud king of the African nation Wakanda. For this I had a list of solid actors who can bring not only emotional weight but also bring the “star power” Marvel may want. These actors also range in various ages but can still do action scenes if need be, so it’s a win/win IMO.

Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Forest Whitaker, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Eddie Murphy.
It may seem EXTREMELY far-fetched to name these actors (Will Smith, Denzel Washington or Eddie Murphy) but IMO these actors have the name that cross over mainstream audiences without sacrificing their acting ability. All these actors can “bring it” and then some. Also, can you imagine the reaction to having Will Smith, let alone Denzel Washington in a Marvel movie, as a King of Wakanda?

Angela Bassett, Nia Long, Viola Davis.
N’Yami, the mother of T’Challa, Queen of Wakanda. I used the same template for this as for T’Chaka. An actress that can bring the emotion side of a mother but also bring the physicality if need be (who wouldn’t want to see both mother and father get their hands dirty with some cool action scenes?)Again, I had a list for N’Yami and these three actress range from age as well but still can be seen with anyone of my picks for T’Chaka. All three of these actresses are beautiful and bring a certain weight to any movie they do.
T’Challa = Chadwick Boseman. Now to the man himself. T’Challa, Prince and future King of Wakanda. He has the acting ability, the emotional range and marketability to be Marvel’s next be star. With the lead in ‘42’ (also opening #1) and the upcoming James Brown film, he’s star is only going up, and Marvel would be smart to snatch him up and lead the Phase 3 films, and even joining the (rumored) Illuminati.
Shuri = Tika Sumpter. Another rising star recently seen in the #1 movie ‘Ride Along’. Also currently filming “Get On Up” along side Chadwick Boseman. Not only a beauty but a potential lethal adversary to those opposing the royal family.
Yes, Tom Hanks or Brad Pitt. the “names in supporting roles” would go here. Let’s be real, Klaw is a very “eccentric” villain, no doubt the look of him would be more streamlined, but before the transformation, he was Ulysses Klaw a physicist working in the field of applied sonics. Before he turns into “the klaw” he must buy into the man himself. Someone who is willing to go the extra mile for their craft. Emotional weight but also someone who can be taken seriously, like Hanks or Pitt would go perfectly here.
Paladin = Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. The fanboy choice to be in a CBM. Though I’m sure many would not agree with my choice or character. The ‘hired gun’ working for Klaw, obviously the costume will go through some tweaks but like his role in Oblivion or Mama, thi shouldn't be a long shoot for him, thus no conflict with his Game Of Thrones shoot which will obviously keep going (spoiler? sorry :-/)
Madam Slay = Sanaa Lathan. Finally, Madam Slay, the “true villain” of the picture, with the beautiful Sanaa Lathan at the helm of this character. Though her powers may seem too eccentric for the screen, a modification can be made and be the money behind Klaw and his research. Someone who is jealous of the royal family and is wanting of the throne to not only rule Wakanda but all of Africa.

So there you have it. Agree? Disagree? If you disagree or agree, just wait for my Dr. Strange and DC fan-cast....oh and thanks again Caleb!


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