Studio 8 has signed Seith Mann to turn the Black Mask Studios comic book series BLACK into a film with the hopes of building a new cinematic franchise.
BLACK was created by Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3. The series takes place in a world where only black people have superpowers.
BLACK has inspired a female-led spin-off series, BLACK [AF]: America's Sweetheart, which the studio also plans to develop as a film.
Mann co-created The Breaks on VH1. He has also directed episodes of The Wire, Homeland, Friday Night Lights, and The Walking Dead.
BLACK follows a young black man named Kareem Jenkins who is gunned down after being racially profiled by police officers. After he somehow survives the incident, Jenkins discovers an underground community of black people with powers who must choose between seeking revenge for themselves or trying to enact larger, lasting change for everybody.
The series was created to reexamine and deconstruct certain things that are taken for granted in the world of superhero fiction. Osajyefo recalled his inspiration years ago in an issue of Ebony magazine.
"During my entire career, the industry was, and is, driven by a white male perspective," he said. "That this single perspective is supposed to be the one that appeals to everyone is wrong. Why can't a Black perspective appeal to everyone? Full inclusion requires Black leadership, or leadership of color, to be fair. There is this systemic crutch for leaders of the comics industry to lean on: Many say there are no qualified candidates of color. That makes it easy to rest on your laurels and make no effort to understand why you may have fewer candidates or can't seem to hire applicants of color. It allows people to stay in their comfort zone, maintain status quo, and not have their position usurped."
Deadline reports that the success of Marvel Studios' Black Panther, the first modern superhero movie led by a black actor and to feature an almost entirely black cast, has helped make Studio 8 confident that the premise of BLACK can succeed on the big screen.
What do you think of the news that BLACK will be adapted into a film, and possibly an entire franchise? Let us know in the comments!2comments