Update: The Black Panther Challenge has now raised over $400,000.
Hundreds of crowdfunding campaigns, started by people from around the world, have amassed over $300,000 in donations so local children can see Marvel's Black Panther in theaters. Getting a Black Panther movie onto the big screen has been a long and arduous journey for many people. Columbia Pictures attempted their own adaptation in the 1990s but they just couldn't seem to make it work for everyone involved, particularly Wesley Snipes (who was tapped to play T'Challa) and Stan Lee, who wouldn't sign off on a script.
After the Black Panther character rights jumbled around a bit, they finally landed back at Marvel Entertainment in 2005. But despite being one of the first characters to return to Marvel, it's taken the acclaimed film studio more than a decade to finally get T'Challa in front of audiences. And now that it's finally happening, the film is starting to become much more than a simple superhero flick. As was the case with Wonder Woman and young girls around the world, Black Panther represents so much for children who can now see a non-Caucasian superhero take the lead in a blockbuster superhero film. So, people around the world are donating to crowdfunding campaigns so that children can see Black Panther in theaters.
New York resident Frederick Joseph started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Harlem children to see Black Panther in theaters, and the response was overwhelming. After raising an astounding $40,000 for the cause, Joseph to the campaign to the next level and created the #BlackPantherChallenge, which encourages people around the world to start crowdfunds for their local communities so that their local children can also see Black Panther. People from all 50 states as well as 30 countries have now donated over $300,000.
Black Panther's cast and crew have repeatedly discussed what the film means with regard to culture and representation. Director Ryan Coogler once said that Black Panther explores what it means to be African - something that he had been wanting to do as a filmmaker for quite some time. And judging by the Black Panther early reviews that have rolled in thus far, it's safe to say that Coogler's film - based on a script from Joe Robert Cole and starring Chadwick Boseman as the eponymous character - has done just that... and remarkably, too.
Black Panther is expected to earn big at the domestic box office, as well as also potentially breaking Deadpool's February opening record. While it's too early to tell what the film's exact numbers will be, there's no denying that Marvel already has another win on their hands. Hopefully, it means that they won't shy away from bringing more black superheroes onto the big screen in the future.
Source: GoFundMe/Black Panther Challenge
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