#10 BLACK PANTHER, STARRING WESLEY SNIPES
Long before he was Blade, Wesley Snipes was almost another iconic black Marvel character in the form of T’Challa of Wakanda, aka the Black Panther. Snipes was tied to the film as early as 1992 in an adaptation that Columbia Pictures was putting together. The film remained in development for many years, with Stan Lee reportedly being fond of the script they had, though production never went anywhere.
“We have a wide-open field for comic book characters on the big screen and we’ve yet to have a major black comic book hero on the screen,” Snipes told the St. Petersburg Times in 1993. “Especially the Black Panther, which is such a rich, interesting life. It’s a dream come true to originate something that nobody’s ever seen before.”
Fast forward to 2002 and Snipes is quoted as saying he will either take on Blade 3 or Black Panther as his next project in 2003, and unfortunately we all know which one ended up happening as Blade Trinity was released December 8, 2004. The summer before it was released, the director of that film, David Goyer, cast doubt on the idea of Snipes as the Black Panther, saying:
“I doubt that will happen at this point. He’s already so entrenched as Blade that another Marvel hero might be overkill.”
Though two years later in an interview with Men’s Fitness, Snipes continued to express interest in the role, and even said they hoped to find a director soon.
“We’re actually talking about doing Black Panther – he was the first African American superhero. He was around before Blade. He’s the original. We’ve already done a lot of work on it. We hope to have a director soon.”
At the time of that quote, it marked 14 years that Snipes had been attached to the project at some point or another, and this would be the first and last time any talk of a director would be mentioned (though David Goyer claims there were discussions about him directing the project.) No further talks were ever published regarding Snipes in the role, and the project has since been put under Marvel Studios’ wings with a number of rumors pointing toward when and where it might pop up.
Though we’ll be seeing Batman and Superman fight in two years, we almost saw it ten years ago. Find out more on page 11!