My quick Thoughts on Anthony Mackie's Black Panther Comments
I can almost feel Anthony Mackie's trepidation from across the Atlantic to my desk in London. This is a man who is worried that the Black Panther will fall into the hands of a director who will not do it Justice. His comments about talent are correct because that is ultimately what will make this a commercial and critical success. But I think he's missing out on the perceptual ramifications to fans who are not white middle class males in America. Remember this is a worldwide fandom and what message does it send about the many capable, creative, talented directors of colour, who can make this happen. A black director would be preferred, not just because of the mere fact of skin colour but kinship with the material and an appreciation of the black experience on a gut level. That kind of sensitivity to the nuances of a story on African history, geo-politics, technological advancement and sci-fi would be difficult for most white directors. This is not Blade or Coming To America.
I created a fun list of possible candidates - Which Director Could Take On Marvel's Black Panther Movie. And I know participants were concerned that some of the directors on my list may not have action/sci-fi directing chops before being introduced into the Marvel/Disney fold. But the talent of a good director can be translated to other genres if they have the passion for it. Also any director who gets the Black Panther gig will have the full resources of the marvel universe at their disposal which I admit could be a double edged sword as Ava Duvernay found out. And lets not forget the other directors, producers and writers of all persuasions who want this to happen and to be a success. The lucky director will have that brain trust to call upon too.
Marvel needs to make a point of doing the right thing but be sure it will not compromise on quality not after the all the successes it had had. My advice to Marvel is stop worrying about the inevitable uproar Black Panther will incite - A black king, the ruler of the most technologically advanced nation in the world. a genius of Tony Stark's calibre and one of the richest men on the planet, will have the vocal racists and trolls out in numbers. Instead cut these talented directors you are courting some creative slack or Anthony Mackie may be directing Black Panther for you in 2018.
Peace, love and Power