#s4mblerds: Why ‘Black Panther’ is Already a Game Changer, 2 Years Before the Release

Marvel, Disney, and Black Panther will make it impossible to ignore the need for more Black and PoC protagonists in the modern era of the comic book movie genre.

Since 2004’s third installment of Wesley Snipes’ portrayal of Eric Brooks in Blade: Trinity, there have been no Black lead actors in a major studio distributed comic book film. The movie received terrible reviews and didn’t even double its money in the box office (they were 1.1 million dollars short). None of this takes away from the fact that the first two films performed marginally well, and that the very first Blade would go on to become a cult classic for fans of the comics and newcomers as well.

After Blade: Trinity, the comic book movie boom continued, but Black leads did not. Spider-Man 2 came out the same year (so did The Incredibles) and went on to make over $783 million in the box office. The year after that Batman Begins (what is considered by many to be one of the most critically acclaimed and defining films for what superhero movies should be) released worldwide. And so on, but for some reason after Blade, the industry put away all the source material for Black heroes and heroines from their respective comic book universes. Characters that are beloved, and mean so much to us – the people that look like them – were swept under the rug and forgotten in Hollywood studio offices. Was it because the third Blade tanked? It’s impossible to say, and regardless of speculative assumption or reason, the fact still holds true.

Read more: blavity


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