Long before Black Panther became a pop culture phenomenon, thanks to Marvel's 2018 box office smash, Wesley Snipes wanted to adapt the Marvel Comics character for the big screen. The man who went on to play Blade was actively developing a movie adaptation in the 90s, which came to light last year. Now, Snipes has opened up a bit about what he would have done.
Wesley Snipes is currently promoting his latest movie, Dolemite Is My Name. During a recent interview, he was asked about what it meant to him to play Blade at a time before superhero movies were all the rage in Hollywood. That was when Snipes decided to remind us that he played the Daywalker because he couldn't play T'Challa. Here's what he had to say.
"I had the rights to Black Panther maybe four or five years before the Blade project came around. When Blade came around, since we didn't do Black Panther, our version of it, I thought, 'Well, this would be a cool opportunity for me to do something for truly my friends. All the martial arts cats, all the cats that love Shaft, and all the cats that ever wanted to be a vampire and bite a chick on the neck.'"
The version of Black Panther we got brought Wakanda to life and showcased a country with technology far beyond our wildest dreams. How would that have been accomplished in creating Marvel movies in the early 90s? According to Wesley Snipes, they were going to find a way to pull it off, difficult as it may have been.
"At that time, we didn't actually have the technology, but we would have done all the Vibranium. All the x-ray vision and virtual operation and the whole nine of it. I wanted it to be like the comic book was [with a] super city and super science.
Ryan Coogler would go on to direct Black Panther, which starred Chadwick Boseman as the titular hero, who first appeared in Captain America: Civil War. The rest, as they say, is history. The movie was a bigger than expected hit, bringing in $1.3 billion at the global box office. It also earned several Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture, and won Marvel Studios its first Oscars.
Black Panther 2 is currently in the works at Marvel and is set to arrive in theaters on May 6, 2022. Meanwhile, Marvel is also working on a Blade reboot starring Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali, which Wesley Snipes has no hard feelings about, despite the fact that he had expressed his desire to return to the role, and had even hinted at having some projects in the works with Marvel. Who knows? Maybe Ryan Coogler can find a part for Snipes in the sequel and bring things full circle? Be sure to check out the full interview clip from Kevin McCarthy's Twitter for yourself.