Marvel Studios has hired Mark Bailey to pen the script for its long-gestating Black Panther film. While Bailey is certainly not an obvious choice, his writing background on HBO documentaries such as Pandemic: Facing AIDS and the Emmy-award-winning Ghosts of Abu Ghraib suggests that he may be capable of making a hard-hitting adaptation of the first mainstream African-American comic book hero.
In addition to Black Panther, Bailey has also adapted the Monte Reel novel The Last of the Tribe: The Epic Quest to Save a Lone Man in the Amazon for which Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) is attached to direct. As for Black Panther, prior to this latest iteration, the film was in development at Columbia in the early 90’s with Wesley Snipes attached to star in what Heat Vision describes as an “Indiana Jones-style adventure.” The property then spent a little time at Artisan Entertainment before reverting back to Marvel in 2005. For those interested, you can hit the jump to check out a little more on the comic book character in question.
The Black Panther was created by the legendary team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and made his first appearance in Fantastic Four #52 way back in 1966. Here’s a brief summary of his abilities from Wikipedia:
The title “Black Panther” is a rank of office, chieftain of the Wakandan Panther Clan. As chieftain, the Panther is entitled to eat a special heart-shaped herb, as well as his mystical connection with the Wakandan Panther god, that grants him superhumanly acute senses and increases his strength, speed, stamina, and agility to the peak of human development. He has since lost this connection and forged a new one with another unknown Panther deity, granting him augmented physical attributes as well as a resistance to magic.
His senses are so powerful that he can pick up a prey’s scent and memorize tens of thousands of individual ones. T’Challa is a rigorously trained gymnast and acrobat, showing mastery in various African martial arts as well as contemporary ones and fighting styles that belong to no known disciplines.