Djimon Hounsou cast as toon BLACK PANTHER - Mania.com



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Djimon Hounsou cast as toon BLACK PANTHER

Actor to voice BET animated series in 2009

By Rob M. Worley     November 11, 2008
Source: Variety

Longtime Comics2Film readers have been clamoring for this exact casting for many years now. This week Variety makes it official.

Djimon Hounsou has been cast in the lead role of BET Networks and Marvel Animation's 'Black Panther' animated series.

The actor will lend his voice to the cable show, which will be adapted from six issues of the Marvel comic that was relaunched in 2005. Reginald Hudlin, former BET president and producer of the acclaimed 'Boondocks' cartoon, wrote the comics on which the show will be based.

"It's a blessing for African Americans and minorities to have a superhero they can identify with," said Hounsou of the character.

"The Black Panther" is Marvel's entrée into prime-time animation, and Djimon raises the bar for all involved as we bring the best in the animation business together to execute that vision," Marvel Animation prexy Eric Rollman told Variety.

Fans saw a 'Black Panther' trailer at Comic-Con this summer, which was basically crude animatics based on John Romita Jr's artwork from the comics series. Hopefully the actual show will raise the bar as Rollman said.

While having Hounsou voice the character on TV, wouldn't it be cool to see him be the character on the big screen? Plans for a 'Black Panther' movie have been rolling around Hollywood for many years now. Wesley Snipes' Amon Ra Productions were long attached, with Snipes linked for the lead role as recently as two years ago. Last year John Singleton said he would be directing a film based on the character.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to the 'Black Panther' toon? What about a live-action feature? Should Hounsou carry the role to the big screen? Post your comments below...

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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mrkrayzeman 11/11/2008 7:47:23 AM

 The animation is terrible!  I hope to GOD that this is not whats gonna be represented when it comes on BET...

monkeyfoot 11/11/2008 8:28:34 AM

I loved the look of that promo. Though that was meant to be an animatic, a crude pre-visualization of the final work, I really like the style in which it was done. It told the story and had a completley different look than the anime style I would have thought they'd use. It kind of reminded me of the 1960s Marvel Superheroes cartoons animated from the comic book pages only alot better. I believe that was the artwork of John Romita Jr. that was used for that. An artist I also love.

Chiwetel Ejiofor was who I always thought of as the best live-action Black Panther. I thought Hounsou would make a great villian in such a flick.  But I'm looking forward to see what the final product will be like. Will it be just as violent?

DaForce1 11/11/2008 9:35:32 AM

I agree with monkeyfoot, Chiwetel Ejiofor would make a much better live action Black Panther than Honsou. Don't get me wrong, I like Honsou and his acting, but Chiwetel has a bit more of a regal presence about him. Something that the Prince of Wakanda needs to have.

I would like to see Honsou do a spin off movie of Papa Midnite from the Constantine movie, but I can't see him as Black Panther.

aegrant 11/11/2008 10:20:34 AM

I hope you are right about that being a pre-visualization. Cause it reminds me of the spidey cartoon from my childhood (the 70s)

I disagree with the casting of Ejifor as as T'Challa for a live action film I think Djimon would be great. As the voice in the cartoon I think I would like Keith David (Spawn, and tons of voiceovers) or even Phil LaMar (Samurai Jack, and the brother who got his head blown off in Pulp Fiction)

aegrant 11/11/2008 10:21:35 AM

I hope you are right about that being a pre-visualization. Cause it reminds me of the spidey cartoon from my childhood (the 70s)

I disagree with the casting of Ejifor as as T'Challa for a live action film I think Djimon would be great. As the voice in the cartoon I think I would like Keith David (Spawn, and tons of voiceovers) or even Phil LaMar (Samurai Jack, and the brother who got his head blown off in Pulp Fiction)

AMiSHPiRATE 11/11/2008 10:24:27 AM

Animatics are used to determine timing.  They are used to ensure everything cuts together smoothly at a decent pace.  They aren't usually meant to be shown to the public (unless you're getting them as a bonus feature on a DVD).  That said, the trailer looks a bit too advanced for an animatic.  They get props for going with a different style, but lose props for that style being so weak. 

On a side note, I heard Brad Pitt is in negotiations to play T'Challa on the big screen.

 

Derahk 11/11/2008 10:57:42 AM

I dig it. I think it's original. It looks better when it's more fluid motion, but they'll get better with time. All cartoon shows do.

CarlLucas 11/11/2008 11:51:55 AM

In terms of big screen, I'm all for Ejiofor. One, because I think he's a fantastic actor that could bring a lot of range to the character. T'Challa is a very complicated character and its difficult to make kings relatable. I think Ejiofor could do that. Two, because Djimon Hounsou is such an obvious choice.

 

Now with this cartoon, I'm going to need BET to get their nuts up. They've already got a terrible reputation for poor programming. Ruining this opportunity by poorly animating John Romita Jr.'s art work would just be pissing off a community of comic readers for no reason.

silversurfer 11/11/2008 12:06:45 PM

I think it would be good for Djimon to do both (if the 2nd were to come to pass). He has a presence about him that could pull it off...this guy deserves to be in this kind of movie, and I'm confident that he would be able to pull it off...he was excellent in Blood Diamond and we all know how he rocked in Constantine.

Ejiofor would be interesting on screen but the concern for me would be if he would be able to handle the physicality of the role? He would have to bulk up. He does have a regal presence to him, that's for sure. I don't think you could go wrong with either one of them.

I just hope that BET doesn't ruin this, but I have a feeling that they are....

monkeyfoot 11/11/2008 12:29:36 PM

More than likely this is just an animatic rather than the near finished look. Hounsou is not the voice on the promo and they don't even have an airdate listed for the show. It probably hasn't begun being worked on in earnest. Most likely it won't appear until next summer, so I guess we'll wait and see how it looks.

Silversurfer, Ejiofor did a great physical job recently in the David Mamet film Redbelt. It was more of a drama than an action film but he did do all his own stunts playing a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor and MMA fighter.

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