In the ’90s Wesley Snipes was producing and starring in hit after hit with New Jack City, White Men Can’t Jump, Blade, and Demolition Man. He was on fire!
These successes catapulted him to stardom and he had no intention of slowing down. Snipes wanted to star as T’Challa in what would have been the original iteration of Marvel’s Black Panther.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he explained why. “I think Black Panther spoke to me because he was noble, and he was the antithesis of the stereotypes presented and portrayed about Africans, African history and the great kingdoms of Africa,” Snipes told the site. “It had cultural significance, social significance. It was something that the black community and the white community hadn’t seen before.”
So what happened?
According to Snipes, the initial struggle was explaining to the uninitiated that he was trying to make a movie about the comic book superhero Black Panther, not the 1960s Civil Rights revolutionaries. “They think you want to come out with a black beret and clothing and then there’s a movie,” he said, according to THR.
Eventually, Columbia Pictures signed on to make the project and John Singleton, writer and director of Boyz N The Hood wanted to direct it. Unfortunately, Singleton had a very different vision for the film. He also wanted to place the character in the 1960’s. Talks of making the film eventually stopped and it fell by the wayside.
When asked about this in his interview with THR Snipes proclaimed, “Thank God…I love John, but I am so glad we didn’t go down that road, because that would have been the wrong thing to do with such a rich project.”
TELL US: Would you have gone to see ‘Black Panther’ in the ’90s?