Djimon Hounsou did the voice of Black Panther in a short-lived animated series, and he was in line to play the part if there'd been a third Fantastic Four movie. But Hounsou tells io9 he's still dying to play T'Challa.
For those of you who've missed out on the character, Black Panther isn't a 1960s African American radical — he's the king of his own African country, Wakanda, and he uses fantastic technology as well as the fabulous mineral vibranium to fight evil. He's been friends with the Fantastic Four, and has joined their team a couple times, and he's also joined the Avengers at a few points in the team's history.
We had a one-on-one interview with Hounsou about Julie Taymor's The Tempest (which we'll be running early next week) and we had to ask him about Black Panther. Hounsou says he's still eager to take on the role, and the animated series was aimed at building interest in a live-action Panther movie. "That was the idea: using it as a leverage to tell a feature story," he says.
Given that Marvel is doing an Avengers movie, and hopefully will do multiple Avengers sequels, we wondered if Black Panther could appear in one of those. But Hounsou says he sees T'Challa as starring in his own stand-alone film instead.
Playing T'Challa on screen would be fun, adds Hounsou:
He's a king, he's a man of the people, and he's very powerful — he challenges himself throughout his kingdom, and I think that's rare when the king puts his own life [on the line] and challenges [people] to beat him, in order to see [who's] the best out there... He's really cool. He comes from a world in Africa that is cool, and has all those minerals and it's very exciting. It's just a matter of time for that to be realized.