Hollywood star Wesley Snipes is finally coming clean about why his version of Black Panther didn’t hit the big screen in the 90’s. The high-profile actor has revealed the uphill battle he faced trying to get everyone’s instant-favorite Marvel Studios character in movie theaters.
In a new The Hollywood Reporter interview, Snipes revealed a slew of behind-the-scenes issues stalled his dream movie. One major conflict came from trying to make director John Singleton see his Black Panther vision.
“I laid on [Singleton] 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,” Snipes begins. “John was like, ‘Nah! Hah! Hah! 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 opposed to how Africa is typically portrayed.’ I wanted to see the glory and the beautiful Africa. The jewel Africa.” (The Hollywood Reporter)
Despite not bringing Black Panther to the big screen, Snipes admitted the pursuit ultimately formed his popular Blade franchise.
“Ultimately, we couldn’t find the right combination of script and director and, also at the time, we were so far ahead of the game in the thinking, the technology wasn’t there to do what they had already created in the comic book,” Snipes says. But the action star didn’t dwell on the missed opportunity. Rather, he took what he learned from the experience and applied it to his next superhero project: Blade. “It was a natural progression and a readjustment,” Snipes says. “They both [Black Panther and Blade] had nobility. They both were fighters. So I thought, hey, we can’t do the King of Wakanda and the Vibranium and the hidden kingdom in Africa, let’s do a black vampire,” he says, laughing. (The Hollywood Reporter)
This week, “Insecure” star Issa Rae shared an epic reaction to seeing Black Panther at its world premiere.
“Ohhh! Black Panther, Black Panther, Black Panther, Black Panther – I’m pregnant. The movie impregnated me. Chad Boseman could get it. Michael B. Jordan is the best villain I have ever seen in my life. He could also get it. F*ck me up. … And you know what else? I love Blank Man. I love Meteor Man. But even those movies treated our heros like a joke and Black Panther didn’t play that. It was just black excellence. Black heros. Black women – all I know is I’m inspired and every other creator I saw tonight was also inspired. So I can’t wait to see what this sh*t spawns. I can’t wait to spawn some sh*t. Ryan Coogler. Incredible cast. Incredible producer.”
Early Tuesday, Hollywood actor/rapper Donald “Childish Gambino” Glover hit up IG to boast about the film.
A couple nights ago, Donald and key Black Panther stars attended the film’s red carpet world premiere in California.