Last night, had a very interesting and spirited conversation about my post yesterday about casting Lupita Nyong’o as the Black Panther. One of the arguments against this was that Black Panther doesn’t have any established villains, and it’s why a Black Panther movie would never work, regardless of the cast. It was also said that because Black Panther is a B-List hero, nobody would go see the movie anyway, since no one knows who he is.
I couldn’t disagree more with this line of thinking. First, just because a hero has an awesome villain, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will make a great movie. Some of the examples of this are Daredevil, Green Lanterm, and Fantastic Four. Each of those movies had fantastic villains, and the movies were trash. The movies were trash because the stories were terrible and the casting didn’t really work. Ben Affleck wasn’t a good Matt Murdock or Daredevil, and none of the cast were any good in the Fantastic Four or Green Lantern. The stories for each movie were just atrocious. They did a poor job of developing the source material and it showed in each movie.
The key to any good movie is the story, and the cast you assemble. Blade is a prime example of that. Blade had no arch nemesis, besides all vampires. They just adapted his story to the big screen, and got the casting right with Wesley Snipes as the lead. For Black Panther, all you have to do is make the world his enemy. In the comics, Wakanda has many resources that the rest of the world would love to get their hands on. So, you make the movie about that, and there you go, your villain problem solved.
As far as Black Panther being a B-List hero, and no one wants to see a movie about him, is just a crazy notion. Once again, a good cast and good story wil get people to the movies. People know about Green Lantern and Fantastic Four, and those weren’t the most watched movies of all time. Blade is a C-List character, who has had three successful movies. And most movies that come out, people don’t know the characters, and they still go see the movie. They see those movies because there are actors and actresses they want to see, and the story looks compelling. That’s what drives movies, that’s what will get people talking about the movie and make people want to see it. That’s why casting Lupita Nyong’o as the Black Panther is perfect casting to me. She is an amazing actress, and very popular right now. Write a good story with her as Shuri, and get a good supporting cast, and the rest will take care of itself.
There are a lot of interesting things that could be done with Black Panther. This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are some interesting villains they could use for a movie, but I think when you use a global type character, it’s better to use a global type threat. This is just something I would love to see happen.