Saturday, October 26, 2013

BRAIN SPLATTER Plays Sherlock: Tracking Down the Black Panther Rumors

Stan Lee made raised some pulses, again, when he told this TMZ reporter that Marvel Studios were going to make a Black Panther film.  Now, this isn't the first time that Stan has gotten us all worked up about the possibilities of seeing T'Challa on the big screen.  Having remembered it happening before, I decided to use my Google machine to take a quick look back in time at the Black Panther rumors from Lee and others at Marvel.

Just last month Marvel Studios President, in an interveiw with BlackTreeTV had the following to say about a potential Black Panther film:

So while we know a Black Panther film is in development, it's still in the "someday" stage.

Also in September, Stan had a sit down with Too Fab.  As you can see below, Stan brought up the fact that Black Panther is in development.

Interestingly, just a few months earlier, Stan Lee, while talking to MTV Geek at Wizard World Comic Con, put a Black Panther film in the same group of in-development films such as Ant-Man (now in pre-production), Doctor Strange (a likely Phase 3 film) and Guardians of the Galaxy (now in post-production).  Is that a telling statement?

Going back a year earlier, Latino-Review seemed to be all over the Black Panther film.  After dropping a story in April claiming that Black Panther would be the next Marvel solo film after Captain America: The Winter Soldier,  and another naming Chadwick Boseman as the front runner for T'Challa, super-duper-Latino scooper, El Mayimbe tweeted the following:

Now, as a nerd I thought that was exciting news.  Though there's been no follow up or movement on that idea since, it's actually not outside of the realm of possibilities that it could still happen.  Avengers: Age of Ultron is scheduled to begin filming in March of 2014 with Ant-Man to follow sometime around June. The next open slot is May 6, 2016 so it's conceivable that they might begin work on a Black Panther film, which may require a lot of CG work to make Wakanda look good, late in 2014.

One can continue to find Stan Lee and Kevin Feige talking about Black Panther as far back as 2010.  They both seem to want this movie made.  I believe that Latino-Review had some legitimate intel last year; I believe they may have run with it too early before Marvel Studios had really cemented what their plans were.  It may have been a legitimate go to had Edgar Wright needed more time before he was ready to begin work on Ant-Man following his long work on At World's End.  Black Panther will get his own film...Lee and Feige are telling us that much.  As of now, I would give Black Panther a 50-50 shot on being a part of Phase 3.  Despite what they are saying, there is maybe one open slot for Phase 3 and it may depend on the success of Guardians of the Galaxy.  If it does well, Marvel may greenlight an Inhumans film and put the Black Panther on the back burner for a few more years.

I'm having a hard time with this one, in spite of my typically logical approach.  I want a Black Panther film immediately.  T'Challa is one of Marvel's best characters.  He's outstanding in New Avengers; the last Black Panther solo series was amazing.  Marvel would make huge strides by having a minority led super hero film.  Marvel's founder, Stan Lee, has always been vocal about civil rights and many of his early titles (X-Men, for one) were political shots about equality, soon the film branch of Marvel will do the same and make this film.  However, I know Marvel shouldn't rush to make a film just so they can have a minority character in the lead.  They need to make sure a Black Panther film, just like their other properties, is the best possible version they can make.  So we wait, but we know this film is under discussion and going to happen...just a matter of when.