Why Wesley Snipes’ Black Panther Movie Never Made It into Production!

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Wesley Snipes reveals why his 1990s Black Panther movie never got made!

Marvel Comics fans know Wesley Snipes as the guy who played Blade. But if things had gone a little differently in the 90’s, he might have been the guy who played Black Panther, too. It would have been entertaining to see the jacked Snipes in tights, ejecting bad guys from the technologically advanced nation of Wakanda. Unfortunately, although such a movie was in the planning stages, it never made it into production.

Just two weeks prior to the Black Panther release date, Snipes revealed some 25-year-old secrets about his failed attempt to bring the superhero to the big screen. He told The Hollywood Reporter that he’d successfully pitched his concept to Stan Lee and Columbia Pictures. However, he was unable to clear additional hurdles, so the project was dead in the water.

The 55-year-old actor revealed that they’d gone through three different scripts, and had even shortlisted a few young, up-and-coming black directors, including Mario Van Peebles (New Jack City) and John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood). Snipes was never able to connect with Van Peebles, but he did meet with Singleton. That meeting is still fresh in his mind:

I laid on him my vision of the film being closer to what you see now: the whole world of Africa being a hidden, highly technically advanced society, cloaked by a force field, Vibranium. John was like, “See, he's got the spirit of the Black Panther, but he is trying to get his son to join the [civil rights activist] organization. And he and his son have a problem, and they have some strife, because he is trying to be politically correct and his son wants to be a knucklehead.” I am loosely paraphrasing our conversation. But ultimately, John wanted to take the character and put him in the civil rights movement. And I'm like, “Dude! Where's the toys?! They are highly technically advanced, and it will be fantastic to see Africa in this light, as opposed to how Africa is typically portrayed.” I wanted to see the glory and the beautiful Africa. The jewel Africa.

Wesley Snipes is glad that he and John Singleton didn't forge ahead with their Black Panther project!

Wesley Snipes is glad that he and John Singleton didn’t forge ahead with their Black Panther project! (Photo Credit – Wikimedia Commons)

Their visions were obviously as different as night and day, and the project never got off the ground. Snipes said he was glad that the movie never came about, because he felt that going along with Singleton’s vision would have been the wrong thing to do with Black Panther.

That wasn’t the only obstacle Snipes would have had to clear. He didn’t have the access to the high-tech CGI effects that Ryan Coogler and Chadwick Boseman have today, and that would have made bringing Wakanda to life a major challenge:

Ultimately, we couldn't find the right combination of script and director. Also, at the time, we were so far ahead of the game in the thinking that the technology wasn't there to do what they had already created in the comic book.

The actor added that he was ready to put on a leotard with maybe some little cat ears to star in the movie. And he knew he’d have to be in awesome shape to look good in that!

Snipes has no involvement in Black Panther, which will be released on February 16, 2018, but he said that he supports the movie 1000 percent. He described it as a catalyst for change that will open other doors and other opportunities. So far, the critics’ initial reaction to Black Panther has been overwhelmingly positive, and it appears that he may be right.

Share your thoughts on Wesley Snipes’ comments about Black Panther, and stay tuned for the latest updates!

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