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Over the last decade of filmmaking, The Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown into a behemoth franchise full of critical and box office hits. The MCU changed the film world, with serialized storytelling and shared universes becoming commonplace in the years since Iron Man hit theaters. Actor Wesley Snipes played a Marvel hero before it was cool, starring as the title character of the Blade trilogy. But he also had plans for a Black Panther adaptation, and now we've got more information regarding what it would have entailed.
Wesley Snipes has had a long career in movies, and he's been praising for his adaptation of the vampiric hero Blade. But he had his eye on bringing Black Panther to the big screen, years before Ryan Coogler would make that dream a reality. He recently opened up about that scrapped project, saying:
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. 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.
It looks like Wesley Snipes was crying "Wakanda Forever" before the rest of us. Because he wanted to bring the Vibranium-infused society to the big screen, and give Black Panther all sorts of high tech toys. Furthermore, he seemed to understand what a moment in pop culture Black Panther would end up to be years later.
Wesley Snipes' comments to Reelblend co-host Kevin McCarthy are sure to get Marvel fans wondering what the actors' version of Black Panther would have been like. It's clear that the Vibranium would be at the heart of the story, allowing the title character to have special abilities as a crime fighter. What's more, Wakanda as a setting seemed like a major focus, as the country was in Ryan Coogler's eventual Marvel blockbuster.
Wakanda was brought to life with care in Black Panther, balancing the futuristic technology with roots in African culture. The soundtrack was killer, with Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole's script including vernacular and slang that's never been represented by the genre before. One has to wonder what type of impact Wesley Snipes' version would have had on society, as the MCU blockbuster made an insane amount of money and got some Oscar attention. Especially since visual effects weren't what they are now when that title was being tossed around.
The timing didn't end up working out, and Wesley Snipes missed his chance to play T'Challa. What's more, his signature Marvel hero Blade was recently announced to get an upcoming reboot within the MCU, starring Moonlight's Mahershala Ali. Hopefully either that movie or Black Panther's sequel will invite him into the cast, acknowledging on the actor's legacy.
Black Panther 2 will hit theaters on May 6th, 2022, while Blade will join the MCU in Phase Five. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.