“Black Panther” was one of the biggest blockbusters of 2018, earning more than $1.3 billion worldwide and becoming the 11th-highest-grossing movie of all time.
Yet back in the 1990s, there was a previous attempt at bringing the Marvel superhero to the screen, which would have starred Wesley Snipes in the role that ultimately went to Chadwick Boseman.
In a new interview with Kevin McCarthy of Washington, D.C.’s Fox5, Snipes explains why the movie never made it to the screen — and what it would have looked like if it had.
“I had the rights to ‘Black Panther’ maybe four or five years before the ‘Blade’ project came around,” said Snipes, referencing the other Marvel character he did wind up playing in a trio of movies between 1998 and 2004.
“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,’” he added.
McCarthy then asked Snipes for some details of what his version of “Black Panther” would have been like.
“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,” he said. “I wanted it to be like the comic book was [with a] super city and super science.”
Speaking of “Blade”, ET Canada caught up with Snipes while he promoted his role in the Eddie Murphy-starring “Dolemite Is My Name”, and he offered his reaction to reports that Mahershala Ali would take over the role of the titular vampire slayer in a “Blade” reboot.
“You know, I’m happy for him to be considered, I’m happy for them to be looking at him,” said Snipes. “What do they say? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? It’s something that he has acknowledged he has wanted to do… I appreciate the love, and I’ve created something that others want to carry on and maybe put their own stamp on it.”
However, Snipes also hinted that despite Ali being in contention for the role, he may not be done with Blade yet. “We got something else we gonna rock, yeah, we gonna put Blade… yeah, we ain’t worried about it at all — don’t worry about it. At all,” he declared.
“We got something for you,” added Snipes “All of that stuff you saw in the ‘Blade’ franchise, we got something that’s gonna come out, I think people will be pleasantly, pleasantly pleased.”