A new fan-made film has garnered quite a lot of attention in recent weeks, thanks to its a poignant twist on one of the comic world's most beloved superheroes. Earlier this month, the 44-minute short film Static was officially released online, which presents the origins of Virgil Hawkins/Static, a hero appearing in Milestone and DC Comics.
The official synopsis for Static reads as follows: "As his dad runs for city mayor, teenager Virgil Hawkins struggles with finding his place in the world and his newfound superpowers. Everything is put on the line when it's discovered that some of the city's gang activities are directly connected to those in power. Change is never easy, and the young hero is already in for the fight of his life."
Static was reportedly made for a budget of $3,000, with production taking place in St. Louis, Missouri. As the production team reveals, "production began for one weekend in December 2017, with the intention of only creating a 10 minute short. Inspired by the potential of the project, [writer/director David] Kirkman took the next month to expand the story and research into the background and history of this character."
The film is written and directed by David Kirkman, with Maalik Shakoor starring as the titular character. The film also stars Dylan Houston as Miles, Sean Brasfield as Robert Hawkins, Bruce Carlton Cunningham Jr. as Mayor Bill Jefferson, and Joel Antony as Leonard Smalls.
Since production wrapped in April of 2018, Static has had several notable screenings, beginning with a sold-out debut at St. Louis' Tivoli Theater in September of that year. The film has since screened throughout the U.S., London, and Berlin, and was even screened at Netflix HQ during this year's Black History Month.
Static initially debuted in the world of comics in 1993, eventually garnering a whole generation of fans with the early-2000s animated series Static Shock. Several attempts have been made to adapt his story once again, most notably in a failed live-action digital series that was rumored to star Jaden Smith. Fans have spent years wanting Static to appear in The CW's Black Lightning series, but nothing has come of that yet.
"I love the idea of Static Shock, and in success, hopefully, we'll be able to pull other characters in that way," Black Lightning producer Salim Akil said in 2017. "So I'm holding out hope because I love that character."
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