So he was immediately on board and enthusiastic

 

 So he was immediately on board and enthusiastic. Same with Kerry Washington, who's a dear friend of mine. Alfre Woodard, another dear friend of mine. My favorite story is actually from Jill Scott, who is, of course, very well known as a singer, but also as an actress. She was in an HBO series playing an African detective. And so when I approached her about playing Storm in the animated series, she said, you know, when I was a kid, I made a list of things - of goals, and one of them was to play Storm. So I'm happy you called, but I'm not surprised. MARTIN: This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. I'm speaking with Reginald Hudlin, the creator of a new animated series based on the comic superhero, the Black Panther. Now, the series, to this point, has aired on Australia TV. Do I have that right? Mr. HUDLIN: Yes. MARTIN: Is it slated for a U.S. appearance? Mr. HUDLIN: It is not. You know, it's - actually, when we created the series, it sold in a lot of territories all over the world, but right now BET, has the rights to air it in the U.S.

And when we originally produced the series in the time in between, they've changed programming direction, and they're saying that the show is too male and too young for their audience. MARTIN: I am curious about who you think will be interested in it. Mr. HUDLIN: Well, I can tell you, in the U.S., because we've released it on DVD for about a month now, and it is one of the fastest-selling DVDs in Marvel history. You know, it's outselling similar DVDs about X-Men and Iron Man, and those are characters who've had major feature films. But Black Panther is selling faster than both of those. MARTIN: But it is curious, though, that you haven't found, yet, a distribution platform, you know, over the air. I mean, I think some might argue that it is violent. I think it's rather violent. I don't know if you think so. But it is not more violent than a number of video games that are widely available and are shown. I'm just wondering if you have an opinion about why there hasn't been a broadcast or UTP CAT6 cable distribution yet. Mr. HUDLIN: Well, I mean, most animated shows on television, they fall into two categories. One of them is programming for children. And as you said, this is a little sophisticated in terms of the violence, in terms of some of the political stuff. And most of the adult-oriented stuff tends to be family comedy, a la "The Simpsons," "Family Guy," "The Cleveland Show," things like that.

This is a different kind of thing. It is dramatic. It is, you know, politically provocative. And all those things, I think, are a plus, which is why it's been a huge success to a very, very broad audience. I have to say that the reviews have been uniformly enthusiastic. Again, you know, the sales have been great. The first week, we sold out in stores all over the country. So the question isn't is it something that people want to see, because the numbers speak for themselves. The, you know, the DVD is selling incredibly well. MARTIN: Yes, you've mentioned that about three or four times. Thank you. Mr. HUDLIN: I'm sorry. (Soundbite of laughter) Mr. HUDLIN: I'm sorry. MARTIN: Nicely done.

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