Samuel L. Jackson: ‘Black Panther won’t change things for black-led dramas’

Samuel L. Jackson: ‘Black Panther won’t change things for black-led dramas’


Samuel L. Jackson isn’t convinced that Black Panther’s huge success will be repeated for other black-led films.

The critically acclaimed Marvel hit, with features a predominantly black cast, is the highest-grossing superhero movie and has just surpassed Titanic as the North American box office’s third top-grossing title of all time.

However, Jackson, who has starred in over 100 films including numerous Marvel flicks, has attributed Black Panther’s success to the fact that it’s a superhero movie.

“I’m not positive that Black Panther is going to change the dynamic of black stories being told in Hollywood and being accepted all over the world,” Jackson, 69, told Vogue Man, explaining that its positioning in the action-genre makes it more accessible to mainstream audiences.

“It’s an action-adventure story and a lot of people like those, and they’ll work all over the world forever because everybody loves a hero. But not everybody loves a drama about somebody’s life experience – that’s why awards have a separate category for foreign films; they are perceived as being different,” he explained. “Once we stop perceiving them as different and just see them as good films and they get recognised in the same category, we’ll be laying markers.”

The movie veteran is currently shooting a sequel to 2000 film Shaft titled Son of Shaft, a follow-up to the remake of the 1971 blaxploitation film.

And he explained that Hollywood still has some way to go when it comes to representing certain black characters onscreen.

“When we started the film, the producers wanted to make an action comedy, and I told them that you can’t make John Shaft a comedic character,” he said. “He can be funny, but he has to be strong, dynamic, and charismatic in all the ways that he was because he is part of our (African-American) mythology… He was a hero and one of the first people we saw to be that kind of a character,” the Oscar nominee added.