Marvel is looking to bring yet another of its black superheroes to the big screen.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, documentary filmmaker Mark Bailey has been hired to hammer out a script about T’Challa aka the Black Panther, the king of a resource-rich fictional African country who becomes a superhero. The project is produced by Marvel Studio’s Kevin Feige.
The Black Panther first appeared in 1966 in an issue of a Fantastic Four comic and is widely considered the first black hero in mainstream comics. A movie version starring Wesley Snipes was first in development in the early 90s at Columbia Pictures. Snipes later went on to star in Blade, a film also based on a Marvel Comics character and one that’s credited for jump starting the current comic book movie boom.
While some may feel Bailey is an odd choice to write the Black Panther movie, THR points out that Marvel has a long tradition of going against the grain when it comes to developing its characters, citing the decision to hire Ordinary People scribe Alvin Sargent to write Spider-Man 2 (the only watchable Spider-Man film in the trilogy, I might add).
They feel, given his documentary background, Bailey will bring realism and grittiness to the project. We shall see.
What are your thoughts on a Black Panther movie? And since Wesley is, um, currently indisposed, who should play T’Challa? Let me know in the comments.