In this day and age of comic book film rumor and innuendo, it’s disturbing when some sites pick up on some random,vague statement by a celebrity and turn it into gospel, even though for it to be true, it would go against everything they know about movie making.
Various websites have taken a statement Stan Lee made at the Wizard World New York Experience this weekend as confirmation that a Black Panther film will be made. Here is said statement:
The people at Marvel are spending hours trying to think ‘what’ll we do next.’ And there’s a damn good chance that they will think just what you mentioned because it would be a great idea, and little by little, everything you want to see will come along because they’re just like you. They’re fans of the stories and are trying to think ‘what will the fans like to see next? What would we like to see next?’ So they’re working on Ant-Man, working on Doctor Strange; they’re working on Guardians of the Galaxy; they’re working on god knows what. Did I say the Black Panther also? They’re the ones I know about.
Jo Blo says that since the other three are “happening,” Stan’s mentioning Black Panther in the same breath, it could be seen as an unofficial confirmation. Yeah, only if you completely ignore a whole bunch of facts first.
- FACT #1: Stan Lee is just a figurehead these days:While he is a 90-year old legend, his involvement with the Marvel films goes little beyond appearing in them in cameo roles. He has no say in what films do or do not get made, therefore would have no power to officially confirm or deny anything.
- FACT #2: He said “working on” not “developing” or “getting ready to cast’ or “coming to theaters”: Do you know how many films Hollywood “works on” each year that never see the light of day? Hundreds if not thousands. Heck, Marvel has been working on Inhumans and Runaways for years. Which reminds me…
- FACT #3: Marvel has been “working on” a BLACK PANTHER film since 2004!: Remember when Marvel struck that financing deal to start its own studio? And it came up with ten properties it was going to make into films over the next eight years as part of its business plan? Black Panther was one of the ten!!! Nine years ago! Granted, the list of ten went out the window when Marvel got the rights to Iron Man and Thor back, and the eight year window was done away with due to the fact that the amazing success of the Marvel films made them become self-sufficient much faster. But still, Black Panther has been around for a while, and we still don’t have a film.
- FACT #4: DOCTOR STRANGE has not been officially confirmed: Everyone seems to think that it is confirmed, and by one month from today, it might actually be confirmed, but as it stands right now, a Doctor Strange film is not confirmed. All we know for sure that it is in the Marvel pipeline. Kevin Feige has expressed interest in the film, but has never officially stated that the film will be part of Phase III. Speaking of Phase III…
- FACT #5: Marvel as of now only has two open spots in 2016-2017: Disney has announced that there will be three Marvel film coming out in those years. I expect there will be at least one more Marvel film on the docket, but right now, it’s just three. We know one of the three will be Avengers 3. I mean, it was part or Robert Downey Jr’s contract, after all. That leaves two open spaces. I think its for more likely that both Doctor Strange and Black Panther will be passed over for a film in these two spots that they capturing both spots in place of Captain America, Thor or Guardians of the Galaxy sequels, a new film for a Mark Ruffalo Hulk, spin-off films for Black Widow or any other characters from any of the franchises, and other, less talked about films in the works such as Runaways and Inhumans. Like I said, I expect another spot to open up, and both films have a better chance of making it on the docket if it does, but as it stands right now, I don’t think both films will be hitting screens as part of Phase III.
- FACT #6: Remember GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY?: If memory serves me correctly, there was absolutely no buzz or gossip about a GotG film being made before Comic-Con of last year. It came out of nowhere, was mention to be in the works in an interview with Feige a month or two SDCC, and then announced as part of the slate at the convention. One of the next Marvel films might be one we have not heard anything about, and that means it might not be Black Panther or Doctor Strange.
So, yeah. Marvel is working on a Black Panther film. But we already knew that. But it’s not a lock for Phase III no matter what Stan Lee, JoBlo or anyone else says.