Discussion in 'Marvel Films' started by Thread Manager, Jul 3, 2012.
Cool designs. Would rather have the full black mask on him.
- a Black Panther movie
- a Ms/Captain Marvel movie
- a Nova movie
would totally silence the competition.
I heard somewhere as well that the Panther DVD sold well. I got my copy. It's a shame that BET didn't support it more. Though I wish the animation had been different, it was a good start, with an excellent cast.
That being said, in regard to Dr. Cosmic, I don't think that Panther needs to prove himself in an animated series before he gets a live-action movie. It's not like the cartoon and movie fans will be synonymous. Potentially there will be more fans for the live-action movie and we all know that movie folks don't always strictly hew to previous cartoon or comic incarnations for ideas anyway.
I think the cartoon first idea is an unnecessary hurdle to be placed before the Panther.
What I think would help ease into a solo film is for Panther to have a nice role in Avengers 2 or 3 preferably. If not that, then perhaps in one of the other Marvel films, or maybe even the SHIELD show.
I just watched a few minutes of a BP cartoon on BET the other night. The animation wasnt great but it had a surprisingly dark tone. I think I saw the Rhino in there somewhere.
Yeah Rhino should be in there. I haven't watched it a long while, but the show was adapted from Hudlin's first arc. And Rhino was in that arc. Having Rhino as a Panther villain was pretty cool and it made sense to me. It's more likely you would see a Rhino in Wakanda than in NYC.
The cartoon had Juggernaut, the comic had Rhino in that position. I don't think either are available to Marvel Studios. Fortunately, any bruiser works in that capacity.
Why not just have him in his own film? Isn't easing him in through Avengers 2 or SHIELD the same "unnecessary" hurdle?
It's not really about the cartoon fans going to the movies, as it is the execs having confidence that the character, on his own has a large audience. If you believe they already have that, cool. I don't think they do. I'd rather have BP in another medium doing well than trying to introduce him as a supporting character and then hoping to spin him off later if people actually like him that much.
Yeah its likely I mixed the two up. Anyhoo, off-topic but I think its kind of a shame that there doesnt seem to be a market for adult-oriented animated programming a la HBO's Spawn show in the 90's.
Lol not that I'm complaining given what Marvel's achieved of late, but I would love a MAX-style Marvel cable show for one of its heroes. Im sure Millar or Ennis would be game.
On-topic: my guess is that BP will need to establish himself as part of an ensemble first before getting a shot at a solo film. Hope I'm wrong though.
Did GotG have a popular cartoon? As far as I'm aware they're pretty obscure even in comic circles (I don't read comics), yet they have their own film coming up.
I think Marvel are more concerned with getting a good creative team behind the movie than how popular the character is.
Also, I agree with those saying EMH did wonders for BP. As with most characters in the MCU (including Thor & Cap. It was only when those films went into production and I started frequenting their forums here that I got to know their characters), I knew next to nothing about BP but I thought he was a badass on EMH, and based just on that show and what I've read in here I think he's got loads of potential for a great film.
Definite potential!! One problem is that at the moment there isnt a black actor in the 25-40 age range that is a big enough star to carry a BP movie just on name recognition. Or, in other words, Will Smith is too damn old at this point.
There are several actors who could easily pull it off, but none of them have box office clout. Hence my theory that BP will be introduced in TA2 or another Phase 2/3 movie before getting his own film. Its not my personal preference, but its the safe play.
Also, I think if you build up the character a bit in a supporting role first, it will translate into a bigger budget for his solo movie. Especially if the character is a hit with audiences. My two cents.
That's a good point, but at the same time, Space Operas with quirky aliens are a proven thing. Black superheroes, Heroic African Kings and Magic/Science/Martial Artists not so much. I agree that if the right creative team was in place Marvel would move forward on BP... but I also believe if they saw a bigger audience for the character they'd be more aggressive about finding BP's creative team. I also think if BP were more widely known/seen that a creative team would be more likely to exist/develop/come forward.
He definitely does. I suppose EMH did elevate him quite a bit. Now he's actually known to people outside of those who've read his comics.
At the risk of being over critical: has anything like this ever happened in film? For instance, War Machine was a hit, but that didn't translate into a lot of people wanting to see a War Machine movie... they wanted to see War Machine as a supporting role again.
Personally I wouldn't mind if Marvel did just put out a Panther film without any introduction. However, I suspect that if executives are skittish about putting out a Panther film that it would make more sense to introduce the character in a guaranteed blockbuster like Avengers 2 or a likely popular TV show like SHIELD so he can soak up some of that glow. Of course that's not a guarantee that it will leave audiences begging for more, but it would be a much more direct way to indirectly lead to a film than a cartoon. A cartoon will not prove that the character can translate into a live-action hero.
Case in point, John Stewart not being picked as the Green Lantern for the 2011 film. Despite his popularity because of the Justice League cartoon the suits went with the traditional Hal Jordan and a 'bankable' white actor.
Now you might feel that Green Lantern would have been better received if Stewart had been chosen over Hal Jordan. I actually don't think it would've have mattered. The problems with that film went far beyond which Lantern was starring in it. That being said though, for the writers to screw up Jordan-who has been getting a wealth of character development in the comics recently-I could only shudder to think what would they would do with Stewart, who's best days were under the pens of Dwayne McDuffie and probably Christopher Priest years ago now.
Also, a successful cartoon for Static hasn't led anyone to put forward a Static film. Heck, it took them forever to even put out a Static action figure. I think one came out years after the cartoon series ended.
Overall, there hasn't been a good record of black leads for cartoons, especially genre cartoons. As it stands, Static has been the most successful; followed by Spawn; Black Panther had a scuttled series; Blade had an anime series that didn't seem to do well ratings wise; and what, the Brown Hornet? That's not to say that there haven't been black heroes as parts of ensembles, but being a solo star and being part of a team are too different things. (Okay Brown Hornet I guess was part of an ensemble).
That's not to say that you don't have a lot of potentially great black comic book characters that can be adapted to cartoons. But I would rather black characters or other characters of color not have an artificial hurdle they have to jump before they can get live-action movies. As much as I revile Hancock, that movie proved that you can make a successful black superhero film, even without having a comics precedent. Granted a lot of that was Will Smith's star power, but it doesn't change the fact that a black superhero was successful.
Perhaps you could look at Spawn as an example of the approach you are suggesting. The HBO series seemed to be well received by the fans and was a neat way to put the character into other media before his movie, though the cartoon premiered in May 1997 and the movie opened in August 1997, according to Wikipedia, so that wasn't a lot of lead time to prove how much the cartoon's success impacted the movie, good or bad. Blade also showed up in Spider-Man's FOX cartoon before his movie premiered. One interesting thing about that was that Whistler was introduced (not sure if the cartoon had Goyer's foreknowledge or permission to do that which would suggested that Blade's appearance wasn't something the movie folks were behind; but perhaps something that the TV folks, getting a whiff of the upcoming Blade film decided to do for whatever reason).
In reply to your assertion that there haven't been spin off films from supporting characters, there was Elektra. Not a great example-even though I think the film is unfairly hated on. Even Catwoman was supposed to be a spin off from Burton's Batman Returns, but by the time it got to Halle it had been mangled beyond all recognition it seemed.
So the track record isn't great by any stretch, but it does exist. Also, there was talk of a Deadpool spin off from Wolverine, even a Deacon Frost spin off from Blade, and there is talk of a Hulk spin off from the Avengers. Even there was some talk of a Catwoman spin off from Dark Knight Rises. Granted it's all talk, but I'm just saying that the fact that there is talk means that spinning off successful, or hoped for, successful supporting characters isn't an alien idea.
About War Machine in Iron Man 2, I can see why people would want to keep him a supporting character, because I don't think the film really did enough to make him stand on his own or be interesting enough to carry a film. I like Don Cheadle, I liked Terrence Howard, but I don't think either man has been well served by their respective scripts. That being said, I would love to see a War Machine movie.
One thing that has been suggested before-I'm sure-is to have a big name as the villain, if you go with a relatively unknown lead actor for T'Challa. I think if they did something like that, while also having a relatively small budget (50-60 million dollar range, like the Underworld budgets), and focus a lot on action over politics, you might have a keeper. A cameo or two from somebody in the Avengers cast wouldn't hurt either. Heck, tying the Panther film as a lead in to whatever upcoming Avengers sequel wouldn't hurt either.
It sucks that I have to be a so cynical about it, especially when the politics has been one of the things that I've liked about Panther, that sets him apart from a run of the mill crime fighter, I don't think studios would want to deal with that or that most film goers would want to see that, outside of very obvious good v. evil.
This is where I think Marvel dropped the ball with a Blade series. I had read that at one time it was going to be on Showtime, with Snipes attached to star. But even without Wesley, if they had put Blade on Showtime or Starz and really let them cut loose, I think the show might have survived.
Even with it being on Spike, where the Blade show failed, imho was with casting. You get Michael Jai White in the lead and it would have had legs. Sticky Fingaz couldn't keep Blade interesting on his own show.
Good points, all around, and it's pretty clear the execs are skittish. I don't think it's just cuz he's black, I think it also has to do with him having a lot of genre mix. He's a King with magic, or at least spiritualism, he's a sci-fi level scientist and he's also an uber martial artist. Putting that all together hasn't really been done before. This is in addition to the issue of taking the white mainstream to Africa and having them say 'I identify with that African guy right there.' That hasn't been done either. That's not proven. Everyone will root for a black character who is black by incidence, yes. But will the masses get behind a character who is, in some ways, about blackness? That's why I don't think the hurdle is entirely artificial... perhaps not as high as execs might imagine it to be, but I do believe it is actually there.
On further reflection though, you are right, a cartoon is not the best way to overcome that hurdle. If he is introduced through other properties, I'd rather him cameo as a mystery to be solved rather than pop up as supporting cast and see if he catches on, I think that's a really bad option, pretty much doomed to fail, if for no other reason than it leads to circumstantial success at best.
Good films don't really make supporting characters stand on their own, that's not the point of the film. I see your point, it's possible, it just seems like a longshot, and never been done before, and the vast majority of the time it leads to more supporting character appearances. Also, you might notice that spinoffs really only come into play when the original is no longer active. That's not what I want for BP.
One way that might be interesting, is if Wakanda was introduced in a SHIELD series, they deal with T'Chaka (get a big name to guest star, and contract for a movie appearance), T'Challa may be mentioned, maybe not. That way, no one ever gets a chance to be satisfied with T'Challa as a supporting character.
I think you can have lite politics without ruining the idea of an adrenaline-filled mid range film. I think including Hawkeye or someone non-powered like that as supporting cast for BP could be interesting. Leading into the Avengers plot via Vibranium is a smart move (say, Ultron using Vibranium instead of the unavailable Adamantium).
I do think part of the show's failure was the casting. I agree with you that Michael Jai White would've been a better choice. But I got to say that a big part of the show's problem was it's creative direction.
I can't help but wonder if the decision to make Krista the de facto star of the show turned off Blade movie fans, and while that decision did generate more female fans for the show, it wasn't enough to pump up the ratings. I also had read, at the time, that there was an advertiser mismatch, with Spike branding itself as the guy's network but having Blade be a show with a sizable female following-relatively speaking of course.
Having MJW on the show I have to also wonder if he wouldn't have demanded and gotten more story lines devoted to Blade and his character development, not to mention some well executed fight scenes that could've kept more of the old Blade movie fans while bringing in new male fans.
All that being said, I liked the Krista story line, I just wish it had been secondary to Blade's. More fans, of any gender, is what any successful show needs period.
Why I think even the show with Sticky might have survived on Starz for example because they didn't need as high ratings. I think Spike, at that time, was looking to move up and the Blade show was going to be a building block. However it's failure seemed to expose that Spike really wasn't ready or built like that to be a bigger player in the cable TV game. I personally think they pulled the plug too early and should've given it another season to see if the show could grow its viewership.
I agree a lot with what you said, in reply to my post. However I do think that race does play more of role in the skittishness of the suits in green lighting a Panther film. Also, there has been a general aversion in Hollywood and among US film goers to supporting films about Africa and definitely films about African that don't have white leads. But this also extends to African American heroes.
I think Christopher Priest craftily got around that aversion when he created Everett K. Ross and used him, initially, as a gateway character into the Panther's world during his comics run. I didn't care for that method, but I do recognize how smart it is. Perhaps something like that could be done for a Panther film, though I hope that Hollywood wouldn't make Ross the real hero or the movie all about him. Priest did a good job of not doing that, while giving Ross a nice bit of screen time. It still resulted in a white person needing to validate Black Panther, but it was done pretty well and showed Panther's awesomeness. In contrast, Reginald Hudlin made Panther his own gateway character and his approach was met with a lot of criticism among some fan boys-some of which I thought was valid but a lot of it unnecessary whining. I think it's tough for some fans to accept the idea of a strong, capable, highly intelligent black character that is sexually attractive, sexually active, and doesn't play second banana. Now Priest showed the same kind of Panther but he did it in a way that mollified white fanboys, throwing out the occasional racial humor from Ross, and Hudlin didn't do that, and was perceived as being an anti-white bigot. And because that line is so fine and easy to cross I think it would be best not for a Panther film to focus much on politics at all.
I also agree with the idea of basing an Avengers movie in Wakanda or around vibranium. If they took cues from the cartoon movie, Ultimate Avengers 2, something like that makes T'Challa more than supporting character IMO. He's an organic, vital part of the story. And the Avengers themselves could be used as the gateway into his world. Absent a movie, laying some groundwork in a SHIELD show wouldn't be a bad thing either, especially if it was known that it was tied to whatever upcoming Avengers film.
I agree race plays a role, but what I'm saying, and I think you're agreeing, is that race plays a large role with the audience. I think Marvel Studios is being aware of that more than they're being controlled by it. They're also aware that race plays a large role with the writing and writers as well, but that's another story.
Hudlin's Panther wasn't offensive to some fans because Panther was a great character and a star. It was offensive because he was anti-white and without Marvel-style personal flaws. That's not a fine line, that's way out there. T'Challa even bored Hudlin after a few years so he switched to Shuri! Can you imagine? Now that's second banana!
Priest simply made Panther inclusive. There's nothing all that crafty about racial inclusiveness. It's transparent and sends a clear message: we like you, we accept you. It goes both ways, apparently.
Regardless, despite our differing opinions on how we got here, I think we agree on how to move forward, so that's cool.
I really hated Avengers 2, way too busy. I think putting Vibranium in the plot would be a good way to get T'Challa on the team, but I don't really want to see the Avengers in Wakanda.
I wholeheartedly agreed with these points.
While I was very disappointed Blade wasn't the focus, by the series' cliffhanging end, I was legitimately interested to see where it was going and felt like Spike killed it too soon.
Man, I'd love it if they introduced him in a less obvious way. Don't telegraph it by mentioning vibranium. Maybe Fury casually mentions to Stark that SHIELD is expecting the delivery of a new piece of tech through a government contract with WDG. And then the callback ends up being T'Challa arriving in the nick of time in a brand new model Quinjet, WDG being revealed as the Wakandan Design Group.
Hey Tamron, your boy Tonayi Chirisa was on American Horror Story last week. When I saw him I was thinking to myself, "Isn'tthis that one guy that one poerson was talkin about on the Hype?" He had a very brief role, but he did pretty well with the limited time he was given.
How was he anti-white?
Love. Yes to little stuff like this building an anticipation for the King to arrive.
The cure for AIDS, basically. But going further, and admittedly I'm mostly going off the cartoon adaptation here, Wakanda was billed as extremely xenophobic from start to finish. It was clear that white people were not welcome there. Then, the frequent take-that's to Western (read: white) culture's corruption, pride, prejudice and incompetence. I winced a few times like "Man, Hudlin, it's like that?" And I admit, it felt good to hear The Man getting it like he deserves. But someone who thinks that other people think they're The Man (read: white people) would easily feel extremely alienated by those things, and understandably so.
While I do think that the Marvel suits are primarily motivated by green that doesn't mean they are not immune from some of the same racial hangups that might affect moviegoers who might have a hard time accepting the idea of a Panther film (discounting it before it is even released for example). At the end of the day, the majority of Marvel suits are white and they are making decisions largely about how to get a lot of white moviegoers, in the U.S. anyway, to watch their films. This is likely to change to some extent based on demographic changes in the country and also the international market, but I am not expecting a sea change.
Regarding Hudlin's racism, I don't think his take on Panther was anti-white. I do think he wanted to put a black character at the center of his own story, and with a largely black supporting cast, and this was something not seen too often in American comics. I don't think he was excluding whites anymore than Don McGregor, who resisted Marvel's requests that he put more whites in his Panther stories. McGregor was like, hey, I'm writing a story based in Africa so it makes sense that there would be so many black characters in the story.
What exactly are the personal Marvel flaws that T'Challa exhibited pre-Hudlin that Hudlin didn't incorporate? And do you think that Maberry or Liss handled his characterization any better.
From what little I've read of McGregor T'Challa was a standard noble hero, same with Kirby. With Priest he took on a more Machiavellian air at times. To some extent, Hudlin ran with the idea of T'Challa being the ultimate planner. Maberry kept him on the sidelines far too much and Liss brought him back into the game, but there were very few flaws outside of being cold to his wife. All of these writers presented physical challenges to Panther. He wasn't unbeatable under the pen of any of these writers. Though I do think that Maberry's left him the weakest, getting choked out and lectured by Doom after Doom killed his uncle, supported a coup of his country, infected his wife with nanites, etc.
With Priest I do think Ross was a crafty move because he understood the psychology of some white fanboys and knew that they would be better able to get into a story if the gateway character looked like them. Also if that said character occasionally made racial jokes it would show that the book isn't 'hung up' on race or that Priest's Panther or Priest aren't going to browbeat white readers "about race", i.e. mention it much or talk honestly about it. Though I do think Priest did, as well as broke down apt political and economic analyses during his run. Hudlin also talked politics but he was much more direct about it, and didn't soft pedal it and some fans took umbrage to that.
Regarding the Wakandan xenophobia, I'm not sure how truly deep that went under Hudlin. I do think xenophobia or rather isolationism was a good reason to explain why this unconquered, advanced African nation pretty much stood by while most of Africa was colonized by Europe. Also remember that Hudlin showed that ancient Wakandans repelled both white and black invaders. Further, Hudlin also showed Panther allying with non-Wakandans and he also had Panther marry a non-Wakandan.
I do think Hudlin's color consciousness rubbed some folks the wrong way. It's like how some people feel today that the mention of racism is racism. Hudlin didn't hide his critique of some political issues of his time, but even in that, one of the major figures with designs on Wakanda was a black woman, Dondi Rice, his take on Condoleeza.
I don't remember Hudlin saying the Wakandans cured AIDS. I thought it was cancer? Anyway, Wakanda is supposed to be the most advanced country in the world, so that was one way to prove it. Priest had giant space ships. And the isolationism came in handy to explain why the Wakandans were reluctant to share it with the world (including other black countries too).
Regarding his critique of the West, it is once again something not heard much in American comics, which generally tend to reinforce the goodness and greatness of Western culture. Hudlin was trying, IMO, to look at things from outside that bubble. Since the beginnings of comics, we've seen the world and many of its cultures through a white man's lens in comics and to me Hudlin was flipping that. Though I also think he might have been trying to provide a black power fantasy in the way that some comics are a white power fantasy. We've seen many great empires and advanced societies peopled by fair skinned people in comics, and Hudlin was maybe throwing some tint on that.
As for Shuri, I don't think that was a sign of Hudlin getting bored at all. For a good deal of his run I believe he was juggling a job at BET while also writing Panther and I believe that the Shuri storyline was around the time he had left his job and could devote more time to his writing. I think he did a good job setting things up for his successors, who dropped the ball, IMO.
So, I can definitely see Hudlin wanting to promote Shuri, since she was his creation. But I also think Marvel editorial played a part in it. There have been two writers since Hudlin and still Shuri is the Black Panther so editorial seems fine with it or haven't figured out what to do with Shuri yet.
I think Hudlin left T'Challa in an interesting place and I would have liked to see what he would've done to get him out of it. With Maberry and Liss we got a much weaker Panther than we had for the majority of Hudlin's run. We also got a Shuri with rage issues and a Paris Hilton past, courtesy of Maberry. At least Liss did a better job repairing some of the damage in the wake of DoomWar. I'm hoping Hickman will do justice to T'Challa in the Avengers and maybe beyond.
A little more about Hudlin and Priest...
I do think that Hudlin wrote with an African-American pop culture sensibility and this was in part because he was trying to grow the fanbase, the readership. Priest was writing, to some extent, within the confines of the majority white comic reading fanbase and was seeking ways to appeal to those readers without compromising the integrity of Black Panther.
I think both men had tough goals and I also think both did very good jobs. I have my criticisms of both, as well as Maberry and Liss.
Despite the criticisms Hudlin gets, Panther was successful during his tenure. And we got a Panther cartoon and Panther showing up in Avengers 2, and getting mentions in other titles. The Storm-Panther marriage got some mainstream attention too. None of his successors have been able to sustain that, so there must have been something Hudlin did right.
And even though the marriage to Storm was reviled by many fanboys it was almost like Hudlin was a visionary who could see how the marriage might play a large role in a big storyline, like AvX, even if that story led to the marriage's dissolution.
Regarding Avengers 2, I actually didn't like it either. I didn't like the Were-Panther for one, and the story wasn't all that either. That being said, I liked how Avengers 2 found a way to incorporate Panther into the story without making it forced or just having him be a token. That he was integral to the success of the Avengers' mission in stopping the aliens.