By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com March 5, 2013 at 2:49PM
Today's premiere of the third trailer for "Iron Man 3" has given us our best glimpse so far of Marvel's Phase Two -- the run of movies including "Thor: The Dark World," "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and "Guardians of the Galaxy," that will bridge the gap between last year's mega-hit "The Avengers" and its 2015 sequel. But clearly, the comic-company-turned-studio have plans beyond that, and assuming the films continue to be successful, we'll continue to see other side projects like the upcoming "S.H.I.E.L.D" TV show, and more.
But one that we're not going to see any time soon, it would seem? A "Black Panther" movie. Rumors surfaced last year that the studio was set to announce a film with T'Challa, the costumed ruler of a fictional African kingdom who was Marvel's first, and still most prominent, black superhero. But the rumors came to nothing, and in an interview with ComingSoon, and others, in support of "Iron Man 3," writer/director Shane Black suggests that a '70 set "Black Panther" movie -- discussed and dreamed of by fans -- is likely not happening.
"I don’t know, I always thought that certain characters could be adapted in a cool way. I wanted to do -- Quentin Tarantino kind of poisoned the well with 'Django [Unchained'] -- but I always thought there was a 1970’s version of 'Black Panther,' which was period that could be really cool and involved a lot of the racial tensions of that time. That’s not going to happen," Black said, when he was asked about other Marvel properties he might be interested in pursuing. "Other Marvel movies that I really loved, or Marvel comics growing up, God, mostly just the typical ones. 'Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.' the [Jim] Steranko years. But you can’t do them because Sam Jackson is 60 years old and he plays this sort of patriarchal figure now, but Nick Fury was what I adored growing up. If you ever read the ones Steranko did for 'Tales of Suspense' followed by 'Nick Fury' standalone 1-8, some of the best comics ever made."
So is it a simple as that? Did "Django Unchained" really kill the chance of a "Black Panther" movie? We don't buy it, at least not entirely. You'd think that, if anything, a period piece with an African-American lead and some potentially incendiary racial politics making $400 million worldwide would embolden Marvel to move ahead with a "Black Panther" movie, even if it was a stand-alone period piece. But as we've suggested before, the studio are still likely uncertain about how to approach the character. Perhaps just the '70s setting/thematic material is a path Marvel won't pursue, but with "S.H.I.E.L.D." around the corner, we wouldn't be shocked to see a number of lower profile characters first tested out there before making a leap to the big screen, Black Panther among them.
But what do you think? Do you accept that "Django Unchained" has made a "Black Panther" movie more difficult? Or do you think that Marvel needs just ignore whatever else is happening out there and just make the movie? Let us know your thoughts below.