Today in an interview with Complex, we discovered that we almost had a black led superhero movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before Black Panther. The interview with, Black Panther's co-writer, Joe Robert Cole discusses, among other things, his time in the Marvel Studios’ writer program.
The program is meant to allow writers from outside the studio system, often from the more 'indie' world to come in and play around with the the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's where off-beat Marvel films were birthed - both Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok were written in the program.
Unlike most writers, Cole entered the program a bit sideways and ended pitching a concept for doing a War Machine movie. Unfortunately for us - due to the way that Iron Man 3 ended (that wasn't meant to be a jab at the film... but here we are.) the film idea was scrapped. In the interview with Complex, Cole doesn't go into any detail on what the concept entailed but hopefully one day we'll find out.
How did you get involved with the Marvel Studios’ writer program?
I got into the program in a different way than everyone else that I know that was in it. From what I understand about the normal process is that you apply, I think by submitting a spec screenplay of some kind, they meet with you and then make their decision from there. I had written a Chinatown-style cop script and they met with me about it. At that meeting, they also said they were thinking of doing a War Machine movie. I pitched a concept and won that job to write the script but they decided, based on what Iron Man 3 was going to be, they weren’t going to do War Machine anymore. But they asked if I’d be interested in joining their writer’s program instead.
You can read the whole interview with Cole at Complex.com, lots of interesting tidbits on his career and where it's going there.
Black Panther will be in theaters February 16th and has a 99% fresh score on Rotten Tomotoes. The Comicbook.com anticipation score sits at a 86.50, currently number 4 on our lists.
Directed by Ryan Coogle, and starring Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa, Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger and Danai Gurira as Okoye.
T'Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.