Marvel Over Thinks Black Panther And Ruins The Chance Of A Movie
By Alex Cranz
This past weekend at Comic-Con Devin Faraci of Badass Digest (are you reading them? They’re seriously excellent) pegged down one presidents of Marvel Studios, the company that’s producing all those superhero films you spend money on in the summer. Before Comic-Con Faraci and many other online pundits had been under the impression that the big film being announced by Marvel at Comic-Con was Black Panther. They were surprised when instead of a badass black superhero that can beat devastate the X-Men and Fantastic Four without blinking that raccoon movie was announced (yes that film is about more than a talking raccoon–there’s also a talking tree!).
So why a film about talking animals and plants instead of one about one of the most well known black superheroes?
That Marvel co-president, Louis D’Esposito had this as an excuse:
“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.”
Wakanda is the nation Black Panther manages. Because when he’s not a superhero he’s the very wise leader of an extremely prosperous central African fictional nation that managed to avoid the horrors of colonialism that have so significantly altered the rest of the region.
Okay D’Espositio. That makes sense. A fictional central African nation full of healthy, educated and advanced black people is pretty different from what Hollywood usually shows us of central Africa.
Only you guys are busy selling us on that raccoon movie? And you had Kenneth Branagh build an entire Norse heaven including a rainbow road.
As Faraci so astutely noted it looks sort of like Marvel via D’Esposito is saying:
“Creating a slightly advanced black civilization on Earth is harder than creating a floating space city of Norse gods. Or whatever setting we’re going to use for Guardians of the Galaxy, a team that will include a talking raccoon and a sentient tree.”
You know though? I think it goes deeper than that. I don’t think it’s blatant racism keeping Marvel from making a Black Panther film. I don’t think there was a discussion that ended with “yeah but super advanced black people? Crazy!”
Up until this point Marvel has been pretty decent (not great) about being diverse. They’ve given us War Machine, Nick Fury, and in the next Captain America they’re introducing Falcon, notable for being the first black Marvel superhero.
It seems like instead Marvel ran into the same problem DC has run into with Wonder Woman. Black Panther, like Wonder Woman, is iconic (though maybe he isn’t as recognized in the general public). But the big thing is neither of them are white men. One is a black superhero and the other is a white woman that’s been turned into an avatar of feminism (thanks Ms. Magazine!).
So there’s a lot of pressure to do these superheroes right. You don’t want to mess them up because then you get Catwoman.
No one wants that. But maybe in their efforts to get these characters JUST right they over thought everything?
Black Panther. Wonder Woman. Not as hard to adapt to film at Hollywood thinks. They’re not so fragile that a less than perfect adaptation will destroy them (Superman survived Superman 4 right?). I mean if Christopher Nolan can do a hyperrealistic trilogy about a crazy dude in armor designed to look like a bat and Edgar Wright can make a film about an abusive scientist who fights crime by controlling ants than I’m pretty sure anything is possible.
Source [Badass Digest]