Yesterday we reported on a news story revolving around reports that two-time Oscar nominated actor Djimon Hounsou, was interested in playing Marvel's Black Panther in a feature film. For those that don't know, Black Panther holds the distinction of being the first African American superhero in the comics and was also an important member of The Avengers. It was unclear yesterday if his involvement would be with The Avengers or instead in a Black Panther solo film. It was also unclear whether the actor has actually had any contact with the studio about this or if it was just a role on his wish list. In fact, it wouldn't be the first time that he has played T'Challa, as the actor lent his voice to the character for the Black Panther animated series.
Today, we had the opportunity of sitting down with Djimon Hounsou while he was out promoting his latest film, The Tempest, an adaptation of the classic William Shakespeare play. We took the opportunity to ask the actor about the recent Black Panther rumors. While he seemed surprised and a bit confused by the reports, he did hint that the superhero's first big screen appearance could be in The Avengers, although he didn't seem to know that Joss Whedon is directing it. Here is what he had to say:
To begin with, what can you tell us about these reports that came out yesterday about you playing the Black Panther in a movie?
Djimon Hounsou: No, okay, so what can you tell me about the report? Because I have never heard anything about it and I am only hearing about it today. Everyone has been asking and I am a little bit floored because I don't know what is going on.
Well, there was a report out yesterday that had quoted you as saying you were interested in playing the Black Panther in a feature film and that was actually why you decided to lend your voice to the cartoon.
Djimon Hounsou: Ok, here it is for the record. I don't know what is going on with it. It's ... you know, this is all news to me. It is true that I have said certain things about it some time ago and that I would love to play the Black Panther. Also the opportunity came to do the voice over for the animation so I did that, maybe in the hopes that one-day they would finally get around to doing a movie. We have so many super heroes, but none that really defines the African American. I thought it could definitely happen and I have tried to push that envelope before.
The Black Panther actually was the first African American superhero in comic book history, do you think it is about time for his story to be told on the big screen?
Djimon Hounsou: Absolutely I think so. Also, I think the Black Panther is, you know, pretty cool. He has beaten so many other super heroes. You know, been in battles with so many super heroes and I think that is beautiful to watch. I think it would be beautiful to eventually bring all the super heroes together to create something monumental and crazy.
Well he was a member of "The Avengers," have you talked to anyone at Marvel about appearing in that film as the Black Panther and how serious is the talk at this point?
Djimon Hounsou: Right. Well, that is one thing I don't know because I have to catch up with my agent at CAA and my manager to find out. I do feel that maybe the talk has to do with the The Avengers and having Black Panther appear in that. But I haven't been approached.
So just to be clear, you haven't been formally approached to play the role yet, have you been shown a script?
Djimon Hounsou: No, no, no, nothing formal with a script. I don't even know who is directing it.
"The Avengers" is being directed by Joss Whedon.
Yeah, he created "Dollhouse," "Firefly" and "Buffy The Vampire Slayer."
Djimon Hounsou: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.