Wesley Snipes tried to make Black Panther 25 years ago

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/02/20/wesley-snipes-tried-to-make-bl.html


Do you think Donald Trump will see “Black Panther”?
Yes, I do. I absolutely do, because they’re rich! They are super rich. He’s going to see the movie.

He would probably think it’s a documentary on how African countries are faking being poor for aid money.

  1. Wesley Snipes would have been awesome as Black Panther.

  2. The movie would have probably been terrible. Superhero movies at the time were pretty thin, compared to the golden age we’re in now.


It seemed to me at the time, though I couldn’t say for sure, that “Blade” was a significant step towards getting decent Marvel movies.


I was gonna say they probably wouldn’t have had the visual effects to pull off Black Panther in 1992 but Batman Returns had some pretty groundbreaking visuals for the time so they probably could have pulled it off if the studios had been up for it.


I agree with @timstellmach that Blade was the beginning of a significant step forward in comic adaptations. I also concur with @Brainspore that realistically they wouldn’t have had the tech to pull off Black Panther well enough.

I am sorry @Towlemonkey but while I do love Snipes in many a role…Black panther…NO! JUST NO! He would have been terrible as Black Panther. He was nearly perfectly cast as Blade, I actually think a younger Snipes would have made a decent Cyborg.

But if you wanted to cast him in today’s crop of movies…Black Manta.


They still are though they have some better writing and CGI for costumes helps a lot as real life classic spandex costumes don’t work as well as they do on the comic book page.


I love him, hate movies of that Era (blade was good) so I’m glad this didn’t happen, but am sad he isn’t still a thing…but most of all, someone needs to shake him and tell him that is a PUMA on his shirt, not a panther.

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To be clear, I don’t think they could have made a Black Panther that looked like the movie we just got in 2018 but I do think they could have made a movie that told the same basic story using the visual effects available in 1992.

Coming to America established that Hollywood could whip up a fictional African kingdom using the visual effects and set design we had in 1988. Batman and Batman Returns established that Hollywood could do big-budget superhero action movies with high tech gadgets and impressive costume design. Heck, Batman Returns even had a scene where the hero is involved in a high-speed chase while someone else is using an RC console to control his car.

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Aren’t they the same thing?


Maybe not.


Oh…fair point to clarify. I just think you need current tech/special effects to create the look of Wakanda as well as the functional abilities of the BP suit itself.

Otherwise…you end up with it looking and feeling more like…


Hey The Thing’s get-up is pretty decent there…


Directors and studios at the time struggled a lot with the camp. You just know they would have made it like the Spawn movie.

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OK, but consider some of the visual effects we had by 1992:

The first three Alien films
Batman and Batman Returns
Terminator 1 & 2
The Star Wars trilogy
The Abyss
The Indiana Jones trilogy
The Back to the Future trilogy

I mean heck, Hollywood has been serving up action movies in visually rich fictional settings since the 1920s.

It was less a question of “could Hollywood present a version of Wakanda and the Black Panther suit that would have impressed audiences in 1992?” than “was Hollywood willing to spend enough money to do a decent version of this movie in 1992?”


The world wasn’t ready for it in 1992. By the world I mean Hollywood and the movie going public. Comic fan boys and gals would have seen it. But make no mistake the public has been groomed to enjoy comic book movies, because the vast majority of people in 1992 still thought of them as for kids primarily. Burton’s Batman I think was the pivot point for some in Hollywood that comics could be a mature medium. (That and with graphic novels making their mark on mass media with the likes of The Watchman and Batman the Dark Knight Returns).

That said, ANY concept done well should make money, but no way Hollywood would make a big budget flick of a little known character in 1992. The best you could hope for would be a low budget that was done well enough to be a cult classic.

But, while we are talking with Snipes, his Blade films WERE early comic movie success and I really enjoyed all of them. Then again, vampires are up my alley, especially back then.

I get that it would be a hard sell but Blade wasn’t exactly a well-known Marvel character at the time either. Hell, Hollywood gave Howard the Duck his own standalone movie in 1986. (Of course it didn’t hurt that he was a WHITE duck.)

Proving my previous point about spandex costumes on real people vs. how it looks on the page.

The first Blade film was good. The scene using the Pump Panel remix of Confusion was classic.
I remember enjoying the second film too.
But Trinity was excretable. The iPod product placement had me screaming at the screen. Listening to music while fighting? How will you hear your enemies?

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Blade was a relative unknown, but the premise wasn’t. A guy running around killing vampires? That is an easier sell to Hollywood and movie goers. IIRC vampires were pretty hot at that time, and Blade came out in that angsty dark period of the late 90s.

Didn’t Howard the Duck get made because Lucas funded it?

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Glad he didn’t, if it was made in 1992 it would have sucked hard.

Hollywood alone wouldn’t have been ready technically to pull it off well.