By “a wee bit” we mean “over the moon.” Wesley Snipes got in on the ground level of the superhero boom, but doesn’t always get the credit he deserves for helping kick it off. It was the 1-2-punch of Blade, X-Men, and Spider-Man that is largely the reason the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe exist today. It’s why we got the Nolan trilogy and why we got a comic-accurate take on Deadpool. However, the Blade movies tend to be forgotten when people talk about the history of the superhero genre.
Now, there has been some revisionism as people suddenly try to downplay the importance of Black Panther by saying Blade did it first. For someone who has been the butt of a bunch of jokes and doesn’t get the credit he deserves, one would think Snipes has a reason to be a little bitter about the lack of credit he’s getting — but he’s not. In an interview with Slate, Snipes couldn’t contain his joy that this movie is coming out.
“Excited is definitely not the word. Overcome, overjoyed, clutch the pearls, I am ecstatic about it. I know what it’s going to do, the impact it’s going to have, not only on the minds of the community, but on the industry and the minds of those who are now the new gatekeepers. When they see the money, that’s a wrap. It’s a wrap. It’s inevitable that it opens up new opportunities, it’s like dropping a load of seed in the mud. It’s going to grow. It’s going to grow.”
Snipes actually had a Black Panther script that he famously looked at before he decided to do the Blade movies. While it would have been nice to see a Black Panther movie earlier, the digital age is making all the difference in getting this movie out there.
“Keep in mind, too, the digital age opens up that possibility. It brings the world closer, and then it allows your marketing dollars to travel further. So, I can’t even imagine what this version of Black Panther would have been 20 years ago when we were talking about it.”
For Snipes, though, he believes that the movie is coming out at the right time with the right people behind the wheel. Mostly because he sees the big picture and what this movie can mean for the future.
“It’s the right thing, at the right time, and the right occasion. For that, that’s the divine will of the most high, and I am always, always submissive to that. Let it be. I feel no sense of loss whatsoever, none. I’m happy, ’cause I know what’s going to happen after this. I know where it’s going. Remember, I was 20 years ahead of the game then, I’m already 20 years ahead of the game now. It ain’t got worse, it got better. I know where this is going.”
You and your Blade movies were pioneers in the superhero genre. Eventually everyone is going to give you the credit you deserve, don’t you worry.
Summary: T’Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.
Black Panther, directed Ryan Coogler, stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, and Martin Freeman. It will be released on February 16th.