Morris Chestnut Teases Possible Black Panther Role

Morris Chestnut Teases Possible Black Panther Role

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If Morris Chestnut isn't involved in an unrevealed cinematic Black Panther project, then he certainly wants people to think he is.

Morris Chestnut is one of those Hollywood actors who's undeniably talented but hasn't become a household name. Blame latent racism if you'd like, but that's beside the point. The dude was great in Boyz N The Hood, and that's why it's so exciting to see Chestnut tapped for the lead role in a film adaptation of Marvel Comics' Black Panther character.

But wait, that movie doesn't exist, and Chestnut hasn't been offered the role of Black Panther, right? Officially no, but rumors have long been swirling that Black Panther is among the next group of Marvel superheroes to receive the silver screen treatment, alongside other lesser-known characters like Ant-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy (both of which have films currently in production). When you combine these rumors with recent tweets published by Chestnut, things start to look interesting.

"It's time to get familiar with the Black Panther character!" Chestnut wrote alongside an image of a Black Panther comic book. Later Chestnut would clarify his tweet with another. "Not final. #BlackPanther may be in #avengers2 first. RT @jamaal91604133: @morris_chestnut Can't wait to see this movie. #BlackPanther," he wrote in the pidgin Twitter-speak we're all too familiar with.

There's a lot to digest there, so let's go point by point. First, Chestnut publicly points out that he's reading up on Black Panther's history amid increasingly intense rumors that he'll be playing the character. Second, he states that his involvement isn't final, indicating that there is a film project and that Chestnut is at least in discussions regarding a/the role. Third, he states that Black Panther may be in The Avengers 2, which could be speculation on his part, but seems unexpectedly knowledgeable for someone who isn't involved with Marvel Studios' plans for the character. While we caution you to take this with a grain of salt, it certainly seems as if Chestnut either has the role, is in talks for the role, or just really wants all of us to believe that one of the prior two options are legit.

Like we said, Chestnut was great in Boyz N The Hood, and we don't doubt his ability to properly portray the African king cum superhero that is the Black Panther. Chestnut also has a great look for the character that's equal parts athletic, attractive and almost royally regal. Our only concern is that T'challa is, as we mentioned, an African king, and thus speaks with an accent from that part of the world. Chestnut, by contrast, is American. If he opts to use the accent on screen, it's kind of a crap shoot as to how well it will turn out. Still, we've got faith in the man.

Oh, and not to court controversy, but we're desperately hoping for this project to exist and turn out well. A big-budget, highly profitable Marvel Studios superhero flick starring a black man who isn't an archaic, racist caricature would be a very important moment for Hollywood's efforts to be more inclusive and progressive. Double points if it's an awesome superhero flick too.

Source: Twitter

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Earnest Cavalli:
Oh, and not to court controversy, but we're desperately hoping for this project to exist and turn out well. A big-budget, highly profitable Marvel Studios superhero flick starring a black man who isn't an archaic, racist caricature would be a very important moment for Hollywood's efforts to be more inclusive and progressive. Double points if it's an awesome superhero flick too.

High score if he marries Haley Barry's Storm.

At the end of the day it comes down to the writers, I saw an attempt at a "Black Panther" cartoon show on Netflix that was apparently in part financed by BET (Black Entertainment Television) and it was pretty bad on a number of differant levels. To be honest I'm less concerned with an "archaic racist caricature" rather than an attempt to turn it into some kind of misplaced ethnic empowerment fantasy that borders on racism in the other direction. Doing T'challa more or less like he is in the comic books where he is neither of those things is going to be the real challenge. Not to mention the simple fact that he's very much a local hero, and it takes some justification to explain why he's involved in general super heroics, rather than out in Wakanda doing his job and ruling the country. There have been various ways of writing him into stories over the years, but that's always tricky. With the way "The Avengers" are defined in the movie continuity I can't really see him being involved with them in any official capacity. I also look at how they had trouble having Captain America hold up his end of the movie's action scenes as it was, and given the fact that Black Panther is in the same basic catagory (Cap Vs. Black Panther is a classic comic match up) it seems like it would be an odd choice to say the least when they already have trouble making Cap look as good as the other heroes.

That said it's an interesting development, but I'd need to see more than just a potential actor tapped to play the role before I could really say "yay" or "nay". I also have to ask questions as to whether Morris Chestnut has any real talent with martial-arts style choreography. Given the role he's playing it's kind of pointless to have him if we're pretty much going to be watching a stunt double in a suit most of the time. It will be even worse if for some dumb reason they contrive things to have Black Panther running around without his mask/hood just so they have an excuse to cut away from the stunt double to show him and make it look like he's doing the stuff... largely because I maintain it defeats the purpose of having super heroes if they are always taking off their masks and costumes, especially characters like "Black Panther" when half the point of it (in a lot of versions) is that not even the people of Wakanda nessicarly know who The Panther is, he wears the mask to add to the legend and mystique and be bigger than life.

Time will tell.

DVS BSTrD:

Earnest Cavalli:
Oh, and not to court controversy, but we're desperately hoping for this project to exist and turn out well. A big-budget, highly profitable Marvel Studios superhero flick starring a black man who isn't an archaic, racist caricature would be a very important moment for Hollywood's efforts to be more inclusive and progressive. Double points if it's an awesome superhero flick too.

High score if he marries Haley Barry's Storm.

Not likely since I believe Fox still has the X-men liscence, and Disney won't get it back for a while yet I don't think.

Besides to be fair, while that is an iconic relationship in comics is *fairly* recent in the history of the character and was interesting from a story perspective because of all the baggage it brought with it.

Not to mention that the only reason that really "worked" was because Storm in her comics backround was herself a queen, and worshipped as a goddess for her weather control powers (her backround is complicated to say the least, she's also been a street thief), albiet in more traditionally rural/tribal Africa. This made her technically fit to marry the king of a nation like Wakanda, and also convienently a way around some of his other, less desierable choices. Wakanda has some high technology but at it's core is very primitive and has rules about royal bloodlines and all that stuff if I remember (it's been a while). I don't believe the current movie version of Storm has a backround anything close to that, so it wouldn't work.

Down the road if the liscences all wind up under the same roof, it might happen though, assuming Black Panther remains popular, and they re-launch a new version of Storm that is close to her comics counterpart. Chances are it won't be Halle playing the role in that case though. To be honest they will also wind up having to make some difficult desicians there because Storm has been around a long time, and she's had a thing with Wolverine (which went further in some alternate futures if I remember) and I seem to remember that while they didn't make a huge deal out of it she was doing the lesbian thing with Callisto, albiet casually. Who they pair Storm up with, IF they decide to do so, is probably going to be a big marketing/political statement if it comes to that, assuming the success of the character. I might be remembering it wrong but I believe "Wild Thing" was the daughter of Wolverine and Storm from one alternate future.

He deserves the role purely based on having the name Morris Chestnut. I wonder if that is his real name or he just decided to pick an eccentric screen name.

If Black Panther is in the next Avenger film or has one all to himself I'd rather it stayed true to the comics and wasn't some kind of 'ghetto' version of the character who is a misunderstood youth in an inner city school or something. The whole African King thing was far more badass.

Lets hope it gets made and doesn't languish in development hell like the proposed Nick Fury and Power Man films.

Wuvlycuddles:
Lets hope it gets made and doesn't languish in development hell like the proposed Nick Fury and Power Man films.

But the Nick Fury movie already came ot!

Now that would be interesting, and depending on how Black Panther is introduced (Assuming that the rumors are right and Black Panther is introduced in The Avengers 2 before getting a movie of his own, which would be kind of a shame in a way.), I'd be all for it. Just... Don't shoehorn him in for the sake of it. That wouldn't do him justice I would think, though I'm not very familiar with the character at all. Otherwise, give the guy his own introduction movie. All of the main Avengers cast have had their own stand-along movies, save Black Widow and Hawkeye, and really, they should get one each as well. It's only fair.

... And would likely make them even more cash if they were done as well as the others.

On another note, I'm not the least bit ashamed or embarrassed to admit that that is a very handsome man right there. I could believe him as a king in just the right outfit, no problem.

I've heard Black Panther described as african Batman, is that right? Ultimate Spider-man has Black Panther as a girl possesing a magical amulet so I'm rather confused.

 

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