EXT. WAKANDAN JUNGLE – DAY
Flying over jungle, trees and rivers zoom by. The sky is very blue. After a moment, the gigantic Wakandan Royal Palace rises in the distance. It is shaped like a Panther’s head and claws.
The Staple Singers – I’ll Take You There
INT. WAKANDAN ROYAL PALACE – WAR ROOM – DAY
S’YAN and several other Wakandan Royal advisors sit around a shiny black table shaped like a panther’s head, all angles. The room is full of traditional statues and flashing screens. All of the advisors look harried.
ADVISOR #1: We don’t have much time.
ADVISOR #2: The King is still in New York, working with Tony Stark. We have plenty of time.
(to YOUNG MAN)
Bring some fruit for the elders.
YOUNG MAN: Yes, baba.
(YOUNG MAN exits the room)
S’YAN: This isn’t about the king. This is about Shuri. Her behavior is shameful.
ADVISOR #3: Is her behavior any more shameful than the…weather witch that the King has seen fit to bring into our halls? She is brash, impertinent, and doesn’t at all attend to her wifely duties.
ADVISOR #2: And Shuri looks to be cut from the same cloth. Cavorting around New York drinking and drugging with–what was his name?
ADVISOR #1: James Howlett–though he frequently goes by Logan. A vagabond, alcoholic, and certified troublemaker.
S’YAN: (sweeping his arm over the table) This is why we are here. To remedy these ills and remind everyone of their place.
Now, watch your tongue and be patient. All will be settled soon. And the King will thank us.
YOUNG MAN runs back into the room, bearing a tray of fruit. He whispers something in S’YAN’S ear. S’YAN nods and the YOUNG MAN places the fruit on the table, then goes to the entrance and stands rigidly.
YOUNG MAN: Mabel Simmons! You may now come before the Court of the Panther!
MADEA walks into the room, swinging a black purse and nodding to the men.
MADEA: Gentlemen, gentlemen. How you dern? Nice to see y’all.
(Points to ADVISOR #3)
You looking good, man. You been working out?
(holds a hand in the shape of a fake phone up to her ear then winks at ADVISOR #3, who looks uneasily at ADVISOR #1. ADVISOR #1 shrugs.)
S’YAN stands up quickly and walks over to MADEA, his hand extended to shake. She meets his hand with a fist bump and settles down into one of the chairs. S’YAN sits as well.
MADEA: I gotta say S’yan my man, I was surprised to hear from ya. I honestly never thought I’d hear from you again after what happened in Atlanta.
S’YAN: Now, now, MADEA. (looks nervously at the other advisors) We said we’d never speak of that again once we took care of the Sheriff. Besides, you’re a valuable friend with a valuable set of skills. And we’re in need of those skills. Quickly.
MADEA: Tell me what you need, brother.
S’YAN nods and motions to the YOUNG MAN, who runs out of the room. After a few seconds, he comes back, leading six muscular men towing ropes.
SHURI is tied up in the middle of the ropes with high-tech looking cuffs around her wrists and ankles. She struggles in vain against the ropes and cuffs. Her face is drawn and her skin is ashen. Her lips are dry and rough. ADVISOR #1 ululates and begins to hum a slow tune.
SHURI: (yelling) You can’t hold me like this! I am a former Black Panther, Queen of Wakanda and I–
MADEA: Aw, shut up girl. Queen of the Crack Rocks is all you is, now hush your mouth while grown folks talkin’.
SHURI: You old cow, I’ll rip your heart out and drink your sorrows!
ADVISOR #2 Joins ADVISOR #1 in humming. They begin to rock back and forth.
S’YAN: Shuri, that’s enough.
Do you think that you can help her?
MADEA: Yeah, all she needs is a little tough love. Lucky for me–(reaches in purse and pulls out a length of belt and a pistol)–I brought my tough love kit. You got somewhere I can work?
S’YAN waves to the YOUNG MAN, who bows and leads MADEA out of the room.
EXT – TIMES SQUARE – NIGHT
Cars are overturned. People are running away from a massive scene.
A small fire burns near the street.
There is a huge crash as T’CHALLA is thrown from the sky and smashes into a big blue mailbox. He groans and tries to free himself from the wreckage.
MALICE leaps after him, carrying a huge rocket launcher. The firelight reflects off its surface. Her armor is sleek and deep violet, and hugs her curves, especially dat ass.
A lighting bolt zooms from the sky and blasts away the ground in front of MALICE.
MALICE aims down the sight and shoots a rocket into the air.
STORM is blasted from the sky, and falls down into a pile of cars, trailing smoke.
T’CHALLA frees himself from the mailbox and leaps atop a car.
T’CHALLA: MALICE! Stop this!
MALICE: (walking slowly toward T’CHALLA with exaggerated swings of her hips) You’ve gotta give me what I want first, beloved.
MALICE leaps toward T’CHALLA, snapping up the launcher to fire.
T’CHALLA meets her with a kick. The launcher goes off with a whump and the rocket spirals off into the sky.
MALICE slams to the ground and rolls over before jumping to her feet.
MALICE: Why do you fight? You will have to give in to me eventually, beloved. Once you do, we can start a family again. You know you can’t resist ALLLAAA DISSSS.
T’CHALLA: Your man-seducing abilities won’t work on me. I’m in complete control of my mind, you witch. And besides–
STORM blasts in, shooting a burst of wind at MALICE that knocks her through the air and into a nearby shop. Glass splashes everywhere.
T’CHALLA: –I’m married.
Thank you baby. Always got my back, just like a good woman should.
See? You’d have a good man to lead you as well, if you weren’t SO DAMN EEEVIL!
MADEA‘s voice crackles in the communication device in T’CHALLA‘s ear.
MADEA: Whatever you do, don’t let her get near no grits! The girl’s probably real good at grit ball!
T’CHALLA: Copy that, MADEA.
STORM blasts MALICE with another bolt of lightning just as she stands to attack. MALICE shivers, and a cast iron skillet clatters to the floor.
A few days ago, I tweeted, totally in jest, that the only reason that Marvel can’t move on a Black Panther film is because Tyler Perry hasn’t approved a script yet. I was joking but…what if it turns out to be true?
What if Hollywood can’t look at Panther’s story as one that’s independent from what filmmakers and deep pockets consider to be the universal black experience? Will T’challa be played by Perry himself? Will there be a gospel number? Maybe there will be messages for Storm (and every other black woman who tunes in) to never overstep her bounds as a wife and only do what her husband wants her to do.
The more I think about this type of thing, the more I realize that I might not want Black Panther’s story to make it to the big screen. It’s bound to be cast wrong, full of stereotypes about black people and black life, full of stereotypes about Africa…and I have no faith that any screenwriter chosen will choose a plot, canon or otherwise, that will do Panther justice. There’s already been talk that Wakanda would be too difficult to create–I mean, it’s not like Marvel hasn’t already made massive fictional worlds leading up to The Avengers, right?
Maybe we should just take the motion comic as the pinnacle of Black Panther motion media and count our blessings.
Like I always say, the road of the nerd of color is fraught with danger and discomfort. Well, I don’t always say that but I just said it now. It sounds cool, huh?