Marvel Unveils Long Awaited Black Panther Film – Will This Finally Bring Change?
The Tricks and Treats don’t get going until this Friday but Marvel president Kevin Feige decided to let a gang of blockbuster treats loose on the public at the special Marvel Live event at Disney’s El Captain Theatre in Hollywood , Ca yesterday. Reaching all the way out to 2019, Marvel made is cinematic plans known for its Phase 3 round of films. Breaking the 6 movie per phase outline that had been in place, Phase 3 is packed with 9 projects. We will see the return of Captain America and Thor along with a Guardians of the Galaxy sequel. The Avengers will top off the Phase with “Infinity War Part 1 & 2 in 18′ and 19” respectively. In addition to the familiar faces from the past films, Marvel is releasing new character works with Dr Strange, Captain Marvel, Inhumans and the much anticipated, highly demanded Black Panther.
This signals the first solo feature films for a woman and a person person of color in the Marvel universe since Elektra and Blade. The announcement of an official Black Panther movie is the answer to requests that have existed since Marvel took to the big screen to reintroduce its characters a decade ago. Black Panther fans and fellow creators of ethnic characters have longed for the day where representation of them was done right on the biggest of stages. Now as the plots of all the respect franchises prepare to converge, T’Challa the Ruler of Wakanda is being thrust right into the center of things. As one of the most important characters in Marvel it would have been a total injustice not to make this movie, but as a black fictional writer myself I can speak to the skepticism that was felt every time we heard a Black Panther movie rumor.
Black comic fans watched as DC elected not to stick with a Green Lantern story line that featured John Stewart but rather follow the Hal Jordan plot origin. This was in spite of the fact that most people, especially the kids, were more familiar with Stewart due to his role in the highly acclaimed Justice League animated series. If it wasn’t last-minute changes of heart, Black characters were often presented with some type of flaw that kept them from being seen as completely human. They were malcontent drunks like Hancock, laughable buffoons like Handy Man or Meteor Man or the undead/semi living like Spawn or Blade. We couldn’t just get a strong, attractive, intelligent leading character.
Chadwick Boseman who is most own for his portrayal of Jackie Robinson will take on the huge responsibility of bringing the Panther to life. The success of the BP flim will have far-reaching ramifications beyond just Marvel’s bottom line. There is a gigantic community of comic loyalists who as people of color want to see what the Panther represents displayed to the masses. There are writers and content creators who are still getting told from the larger businesses that “black heroes don’t sell”. And most simply there are kids who want to see movies with lead stars that look like them.
After hearing Marvel’s Co-President Louis D’Esposit, following a Comic Con 3 yrs ago, I seriously doubted that this movie would ever get off the ground.
“He has a lot of the same characteristics of a Captain America: great character, good values… But it’s a little more difficult, maybe, creating [a world like Wakanda]. It’s always easier basing it here. For instance, ‘Iron Man 3’ is rooted right here in Los Angeles and New York. When you bring in other worlds, you’re always faced with those difficulties.” – D’Espoit on the “Difficulties” of making BP
Not long after releasing Thor to record attendance with its completely fictional and man-made environments this man looked us all in the face and lied horribly. Yet, years later here we are.
I have confidence in the team that Marvel has working on their movies and I see no reason to doubt that T’Challa’s introduction into the Marvel cinematic universe will be anything short of amazing. Hopefully with his emergence into the mainstream people will look on and ask will we now see more characters of color stepping out to hold down their own franchise brands? Will we finally see someone from the vast independent comic circuit strike success in crossing over into a lead role. Will the diverse range and scope of our people be given the fair chance to showcase itself.