Actor Wesley Snipes helped lead the charge of non-traditional superhero films with the R-rated vampire movie Blade in 1998, but recently shared that he originally was involved with developing a Black Panther film. With Marvel Studios' Black Panther opening later this week, it would be understandable if the actor was envious of the anticipated success, but Snipes claims he is "ecstatic" over what the film will mean to communities.
"Excited is definitely not the word. Overcome, overjoyed, clutch the pearls, I am ecstatic about it," Snipes revealed to Slate. "I know what it's going to do, the impact it's going to have, not only on the minds of the community, but on the industry and the minds of those who are now the new gatekeepers. When they see the money, that's a wrap. It's a wrap. It's inevitable that it opens up new opportunities, it's like dropping a load of seed in the mud. It's going to grow. It's going to grow."
One of the advantages a Black Panther film has now over one that would have been made in the '90s is the advancements in technology allow the film to be seen more easily and by larger audiences.
"Keep in mind, too, the digital age opens up that possibility," Snipes pointed out. "It brings the world closer, and then it allows your marketing dollars to travel further. So, I can't even imagine what this version of Black Panther would have been 20 years ago when we were talking about it."
For as excited as Snipes would have been to embrace the character earlier in his career, he went on to acknowledge that the film will likely be more effective and have a larger impact in 2018 than it would have had two decades earlier.
"It's the right thing, at the right time, and the right occasion. For that, that's the divine will of the most high, and I am always, always submissive to that. Let it be. I feel no sense of loss whatsoever, none," Snipes admitted. "I'm happy, 'cause I know what's going to happen after this. I know where it's going. Remember, I was 20 years ahead of the game then, I'm already 20 years ahead of the game now. It ain't got worse, it got better. I know where this is going."
Black Panther lands in theaters this Friday.