Wesley Snipes almost played Black Panther in the 90s, here's why he couldn't
- Wesley Snipes has spoken about why his Black Panther film never got made in the 90s. The role was eventually brought to life by Chadwick Boseman.
Before Chadwick Boseman made the character his own, actor Wesley Snipes was planning to star in a Black Panther film. The actor has spoken about the roadblocks he faced in getting the project off the ground in the 90s.
Black Panther released in 2018 and grossed over $1 billion worldwide. It also scored Marvel Studios a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars.
In an interview with Collider, Snipes said, "That is absolutely true, and we had three scripts, three versions of scripts written when we held the rights to Black Panther. That was in the early '90s. Maybe '92, '93, '94, in that area somewhere."
He continued, "We didn't have the technology we have now. Pixar didn't exist. None of the things, the CGI capabilities that we have now existed, and you know, people... Even the thought of the name Black Panther in the zeitgeist of Hollywood had a reference to the national revolutionary group versus the comic book. So it was hard to make. Long story long, we didn't end up making it, the rights went back, converted back, and then Blade came along. [I] rocked with that."
Chadwick Boseman debuted as the character in Captain America: Civil War, before starring in the solo Black Panther film, and then appearing in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. He died after a four-year battle with cancer in 2020.
Even though he wasn't able to play the character, Snipes supported the MCU film, telling The Hollywood Reporter in 2018, "Even though I am not a part of this particular project, I support it 1,000%, and I am absolutely convinced that it will be a catalyst for change and open other doors and other opportunities."
Black Panther 2 is in active development, with director Ryan Coogler set to return. Marvel has said that it won't recast the central role.