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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Casting Call - The Black Panther

Sometimes I like to think about who could play a certain comic book character on the movie screen.  One way I do this is by thinking backwards.  In other words, as I watch TV or movies I think, "What superhero does that actor/actress remind me of?"  Sometimes the answer is no one but on other occasions it becomes very clear.  Some actors are just born to play certain roles.  Christopher Reeve was born to be Superman.  Patrick Stewart is Professor X.  Hugh Jackman brought Wolverine to life (although too tall we accepted him).  Robert Downey, Jr. was awesome as Tony Stark.  Recently I decided who I think would be perfect for the role of T'Challa, the King of the African Country Wakanda.  We affectionately know him as The Black Panther, Honorary Avenger.

Who would I cast as the Black Panther?  Christopher Judge 

Who is Christopher Judge?  He is best know for his role on Stargate SG-1 and associated shows as Teal'c, the Jaffa alien who helps the ISO's Stargate program defeat the Goa'uld from ruling the galaxy as gods.  However, Judge has other credits to his name as well, some of which have ties to popular comic book characters.  In 2003, he was the voice of Zodak in 5 episodes of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.  He also provide the voice for Magneto in the animated series X-Men: Evolution.  In other years he has appeared in episodes of MacGyver, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Andromeda, Sirens and Action Man.  Bird On A Wire, A Dog's Breakfast and Personal Effects are some of just a few of the many movie appearances he has had.

I like Judge for the role of Black Panther for several reasons.  He has the build being muscular and firm.  He has the look in his face that differentiates him from actors like Denzel Washington or Wesley Snipes, some who have been mentioned or rumored to be in such a role.  He also has the look as if he could be from another country because he is part African and part Cherokee.  He definitely has the voice of one who commands others,  injects fear and displays confidence. Finally, he has the size. At 6'-3" it is clear he is not a short man.  He has proven his ability to show a physical prowess, and his fairly solemn role as Teal'c, a character whose very demeanor commands respect, is similar in nature to that of the Black Panther.  Much like Patrick Stewart or Christopher Reeve, I believe he was born to play the Black Panther.

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