The Black Panther movie director still hasn’t been found, and the problem might be Marvel’s expectations. Notable black superhero actor Anthony Mackie, who plays Falcon in the MCU, has come out to say that the film’s helmsman doesn’t necessarily need to have dark skin.
As the wait for possibly the first critically accepted black superhero movie continues (Spawn was the first, though it focused more on visual effects than story), we’ve had news about the next collaborative film. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Captain America: Civil War trailer is on its way and may even offer clues into Black Panther’s upcoming solo outing.
What we know so far about Black Panther is that he’s another “super soldier,” this time from the fictional African nation of Wakanda. What makes this fact relevant is that Wakanda is the alleged home to the world’s only source of Vibranium, the nearly indestructible metal that Captain America’s shield is made of.
In Avengers: Age of Ultron, we were introduced to Andy Serkis’ Ulysses Claue, who happens to be Black Panther’s arch enemy. Even though we will see the titular hero for the first time in the next Captain America, the Black Panther movie’s director will likely go much further in depth with the story of Wakanda’s super soldier and the man who killed his father in the search for Vibranium.
According to the Marvel Wiki, Black Panther was the first black comic book superhero ever created, making him an important one to get right in the upcoming film. For that, Marvel appears to be trying to grab a black director, allegedly so the film will accurately portray the culture.
The problem with this may be that Wakanda isn’t a real nation, and there might be too much temptation to make it appear as a stereotypical African nation. If the Black Panther movie director is himself (or herself) black, the possibility of racist portrayals may be eliminated.
However, every director that Marvel has approached to helm the film so far has two things in common: they’re black, and they’ve turned down the opportunity. The first one was Ava DuVernay (Selma), but Decider says she had creative differences with what Marvel wanted. The second possibility was F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton), who likewise turned it down and then grabbed the chance to direct the next Fast and Furious film. The next potential Black Panther movie director hasn’t been found, and Falcon actor Anthony Mackie has said that perhaps Marvel is trying too hard to put a black person in the chair, according to E! Online.
“I don’t think it’s important at all. As a director your job is to tell a story. You know, they didn’t get a horse to direct Seabiscuit!
“The thing is I don’t think the race of the director has to do with their ability to tell a story. I think it’s all about the director’s ability to be able to relate to that story and do it justice. I think men can direct women, and two of my greatest work experiences were with female directors. So I think it all depends. May the best man – or woman – win.”
Some Twitter users have expressed a degree of annoyance with Mackie’s comments on who should be the Black Panther movie’s director. One said, “That [Seabiscuit] comment from [Anthony Mackie] tells us a lot more about what Mackie thinks of himself than anything else.”
— Gossip Roundup (@Gossip_Round_Up) November 7, 2015
While it may matter whether a black man or woman sits in the director’s chair, a good director is a good director. Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story was directed by a white man, and it was still considered a great movie, even if factually inaccurate.
Who do you think should be the Black Panther movie’s director?
[Image via Marvel]