Sometimes it feels like there aren't a huge amount of choice roles for black actors. So much so, that even though Marvel has kept schtum about any possibility of a Black Panther solo movie over the past two years, Hollywood's brightest and best black actors are lining up for the role before it's even advertised.
's the latest star to throw his name in the hat. You're probably familiar with the two-time Oscar nominated Beninese-American thesp from his supporting roles in Gladiator and Blood Diamond.
At the San Diego Comic-Con in July, it was revealed that Hounsou had joined the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy in the role of the villain Korath the Pursuer and he’s not been shy about discussing other possible Marvel roles he could take on.
During the press junket for his latest flick, Baggage Claim, he explained that he'd like to play the King of Wakanda:
"It would be an honor to be T'Challa," said Hounsou. "It would have to be done right, given the history of that character and that comic. I have a foot in the Marvel comics world now, so we'll see where they're going to take that." Speaking about his comic book knowledge, the Fast & Furious 7 star said, "I never read any comic books when I was younger, I just remember one of my friends in Africa at a very young age used to carry these animated booklets with him - those were comic books, and he was passionate about them."
It would make a lot of sense for Hounsou to play T'Challa - a few years ago, there was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it Black Panther animation series, developed by Marvel - it only ran for six episodes which screened on kids TV in Australia in 2010, and in the US on BET in 2011. Hounsou voiced Black Panther on the show and won critical acclaim for his portrayal.
If you missed it, check it out here:
I'd love to see a Black Panther solo movie, but the troubled development history behind this project doesn't inspire confidence in its chances. This long-awaited project has been in the pipeline for over twenty years, with (Blade) first announcing his plans to bring the character to screen all the way back in 1992. In 2005, Marvel announced they wanted to bring a Black Panther movie to fruition, then there was a long six year silence until (Ghosts of Abu Ghraib) was contracted in 2011 to write the script.
Still, there was that whole rumor Stan Lee started in July...I'm crossing my fingers for this one. Who would you like to see play Black Panther? Let me know in the comments below.