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Kevin Feige on why it took so long to bring Black Panther to the big screen

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been going strong for ten years, dishing out almost twenty superpowered films in the process. BLACK PANTHER makes 18, to be exact, and considering the character's huge standing in the Marvel comics, it’s a wonder what took the Marvel ten years to bring the Wakandan hero's own movie to life. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige explains it was all about timing, and how CIVIL WAR gave them the perfect way to introduce the character.

During an interview with Variety Feige spoke about why it took so long to bring Panther into the MCU, considering that actor Wesley Snipes had been trying to do a movie since the early 90s. Feige said with CIVIL WAR they realized T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) would be the perfect way to introduce him and give the movie a bit of complexity.

This is the 10-year anniversary of Marvel Studios, starting with “Iron Man.” I’ll speak starting in 2008. For us, we were building the Avengers. That took up the first five years. And as audiences continued to come, we got to tell more of these stories and we got to a point where we were developing “Captain America: Civil War.” We had an opportunity to introduce a character that had no allegiance to either Iron Man or Captain America and that clearly was Black Panther, who has his own agenda, agency, country, and culture. And he found himself thrust into the world of the Avengers. That became, for us, lighting the wick on the beginning of bringing Panther to the world and casting Chadwick and soon after that, hiring Ryan Coogler. I’m very glad this movie wasn’t made in 1992 because Ryan Coogler might not have been born.

Feige then brought up how they knew they would always do a PANTHER movie at some point, having teased the character in IRON MAN 2 (2010) and AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (2015). When it came time to finally cast T’Challa Feige said they only ever considered one actor: Wesley Snipes. Wait, sorry, I meant to say, Chadwick Boseman.

We were working on the story [CIVIL WAR] and we needed another character. Our executive producer suggested T’Challa. The minute we started talking about Black Panther, we brought up Chadwick. He really was the only actor we discussed. We had seen the Jackie Robinson role [in “42”] and “Get On Up” was coming up. We were very impressed by how different James Brown and Jackie Robinson are, and how he could sort of do anything. I think it was 24 hours between saying his name in a creative story meeting and talking to his agent and getting on a phone with him and offering him the role of Black Panther, which he accepted. He was in Zurich on a press tour for “Get On Up,” which makes the story even more far-flung and global and James Bond-like.

Whatever the reason for the wait, clearly it was all worth it. BLACK PANTHER hits theaters for late shows tonight and during all showtimes tomorrow, and still the movie stands as the best-reviewed Marvel movie ever at 97% on Rotten Tomatoes (with 175 reviews). The movie's weekend estimates are continuing to rise, now with pundits saying to could zoom close to $200 million for the four-day Presidents Day weekend. I got my tickets for tonight, and I assume many of you will go at some point this weekend, and now it's time for Black Panther mania to begin!

BLACK PANTHER has early shows tonight and is everywhere tomorrow!

Source: Variety

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