A movie based around the comic-book character Black Panther is back in development by Marvel Studios. But the studio's pick to write the script comes out of left field.
According to Heatvision, Marvel has tapped Mark Bailey to pen a new screenplay around the Panther, who is considered the first mainstream black superhero. Bailey comes from the documentary world, having worked on HBO projects like Pandemic: Facing AIDS and Ghosts of Abu Ghraib. He's also been developing a feature-film version of a nonfiction book titled The Last of the Tribe: The Epic Quest to Save a Lone Man in the Amazon.
On the surface, none of these projects would seem to make Bailey an obvious choice to write a Black Panther movie, but then again, people thought the idea of Jon Favreau directing Iron Man was strange, and look how that turned out.
The Black Panther, whose real name is T'Challa, has ruled the fictional African nation of Wakanda and been a player in the Marvel Universe since his 1966 debut in the Fantastic Four comic book. Actor Wesley Snipes and director John Singleton have both been attached to a Black Panther movie at various times, while the project has passed from Columbia Pictures to Lionsgate before finally coming back to Marvel.
Beyond this year's Thor and Captain America, next year's The Avengers and 2013's Iron Man 3, Marvel has yet to announce what its next batch of projects will be. But Black Panther has supposedly been one of the lesser-known Marvel heroes that the studio has been eager to bring to the big screen.
Would you like to see a Black Panther movie? Or are there other superheroes that Marvel should develop for the big screen first?