Tag: “Shaft”

Kenya Barris, Creator of “Black-ish”, Signs Overall Movie Deal With Fox

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 14: Writer Kenya Barris poses for a portrait at the American Black Film Festival on June 14, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by J. Countess/Getty Images Portrait)
NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 14: Writer Kenya Barris poses for a portrait at the American Black Film Festival on June 14, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by J. Countess/Getty Images Portrait)

article by Dave McNary via Variety.com

Kenya Barris, creator of ABC’s “Black-ish” and co-writer of “Barbershop:  The Next Cut,” has signed an overall deal at Fox for the development of feature projects.

“We are thrilled to be in business with Kenya,” said Stacey Snider, chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox Film. “He is a creator with an incredibly authentic voice — at a time when original storytellers are more valuable than ever.”

The film pact will be administered through Barris’ new production company, Khalabo Ink Society, aimed at telling compelling stories that pull back the curtain on the parts of our society that typically go unnoticed, and forging conversations that expose our own hypocrisies.  “As we expand our comedic franchise we at Khalabo Ink Society are overjoyed to have found a partner in Fox, that shares our same sentiment in storytelling,” Barris said.

Khalabo also has a number of feature projects in the works, including “Cheaper by the Dozen,” “Stir Crazy,”  “Girls Trip,” “Ruff Ryderz,” and “Shaft.” Erynn Sampson is head of development for Khalabo Ink Society.

Barris currently has an overall deal with ABC Studios where he will continue to executive produce “Black-ish,” in addition to developing new series and projects for network, cable, and streaming, including “Unit Zero,” which he will executive produce along with Toni Collette, who will also star.

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/blackish-kenya-barris-movie-deal-1201853782/

David Walker Creates Solo Series for DC Comics’ Powerful Black Superhero Cyborg

Cyborg, the techno-powered teenage superhero, is rising to the ranks of peers like Superman and Batman by headlining his own comic book series. But what makes him different from other mainstream superheroes? For starters, he’s black.

A freak accident turns Victor Stone into the half-human, half-robot hybrid hero with Herculean strength and mechanical telepathy. In spite of his of abilities, Cyborg has a complex life dealing with the challenges of being different both as a black male and as a superhero.

David F. Walkerthe award-winning journalist and author who penned the series of black private-eye and vigilante Shaft, is the writer bringing Cyborg’s story to life. We caught up with Walker to get the scoop on the cultural impact of the prolific comic book publisher DC Comics and spearheading a leading storyline for one of the greatest black superheroes ever to exist.

The Huffington Post: Who is Cyborg, and how did he gain his powers? 

David F. Walker: Cyborg is Victor Stone, who first appeared in the pages of a series called The New Teen Titans, back in 1980. Vic is a young African American man who was nearly killed in a laboratory explosion, only to have his life saved, and his body restored through the use of advanced cybernetics. Vic is somewhat unique, in that he doesn’t have an alter-ego, and Cyborg isn’t so much of persona as it merely is his state of being — the result of this devastating accident that almost took his life. The technology that is used to keep him alive makes him look more like a robot, gives him incredible strength, and allows him total access to the Internet by way of the computer implanted in his brain.

What sort of significance do you think it means for Cyborg, a black superhero, to officially have his own series? 

There simply aren’t that many black superheroes with their own series, which leaves a rather large cross section of the comic-reading audience under-represented. I go to conventions, and I see incredible numbers of women and people of color in attendance — in some case making up the majority of convention attendees — and yet that is not reflected in the mainstream comics on the shelves. Cyborg having his own series is a step in the direction of greater representation, which is significant for quite a few reasons. Perhaps the most significant reason is that it helps to activate the dreams of young black people. Lack of representation becomes a form of oppression, sending a message that there is no place for black people or women or the LGBT community in these fantasy worlds that serve as a metaphor for the lives we live, and an escape for the horrors of everyday life.

What traits make Cyborg an interesting hero?

I could say that it is the fact that he is more machine than man — that he can fly, and possesses superhuman strength, and that his brain has the most advanced computer in existence plugged right into it — but that’s not what makes him interesting. What makes him interesting — what makes all heroes interesting — are the flaws and weaknesses that remind us of their humanity.

What things can we look forward to in the Cyborg solo series?

Obviously, there will be action. This is, after all, a comic book, and action drives a large part of the American superhero comic genre. So, we will see Vic facing various threats, from cybernetic-aliens looking to hijack his tech, to super villains we love to hate. But the thing that I think many people are looking for, and that I hope to deliver, is the development of Vic Stone as a character. Cyborg has been around for 35 years, and we’ve seen bits and pieces of his life, but he has always been a co-star in team books like Teen Titans or Justice League, which means there is only so much of his story that can be told.

What elements do you think make for a great superhero comic?

I may get in trouble for saying this, but superheroes are the modern equivalent to the gods of ancient mythology. These are power fantasies and morality tales that are meant to help us better understand the way we live our lives, and give us an escape from both the mundane and horrific that we face on a daily basis. A great superhero comic is brimming with the same things we deal with, only exaggerated to the most wild of extremes.

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Happy 65th Birthday Oscar Nominee Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. JacksonSamuel Leroy Jackson (born December 21, 1948) is an American film and television actor and film producer. After becoming involved with the Civil Rights Movement, he moved on to acting in theater at Morehouse College, and then films. He had several small roles such as in the film Goodfellas before meeting his mentor, Morgan Freeman, and the director Spike Lee. After gaining critical acclaim for his role in Jungle Fever in 1991, he appeared in films such as Patriot GamesAmos & AndrewTrue Romance and Jurassic Park. In 1994, he was cast as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, and his performance received several award nominations and critical acclaim.

Jackson has since appeared in over 100 films, including Die Hard with a VengeanceJackie BrownUnbreakableThe IncrediblesShaftSnakes on a PlaneDjango Unchained, as well as the Star Wars prequel trilogy and small roles in Quentin Tarantino‘s Kill Bill Vol. 2 and Inglourious Basterds.

He played Nick Fury in Iron ManIron Man 2ThorCaptain America: The First Avenger, and Marvel’s The Avengers, the first five of a nine-film commitment as the character for the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. Jackson is set to reprise his role as Fury in the 2014 film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the 2015 film, Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Jackson’s many roles have made him one of the highest-grossing actors at the box office. Jackson has won multiple awards throughout his career and has been portrayed in various forms of media, including films, television series, and songs. In 1980, Jackson married LaTanya Richardson, with whom he has a daughter, Zoe.  In October 2011, Jackson became the actor with the highest-grossing film total of all time.

article via wikipedia.org

Gordon Parks Honored by Macy’s

gordon-parks001NEW YORK – From one icon to another, this February Macy’s, an American retail institution, salutes American cultural hero Gordon Parks in celebration of Black History Month. 

Via special events and exhibits at select stores across the country, Macy’s will honor the legacy of this artistic master who chronicled and defined a generation and whose work continues to inspire artists today.

A humanitarian with a deep commitment to social justice, Gordon Parks was one of the seminal figures of twentieth-century photography.

From the early 1940s until his death in 2006, Parks created a body of work that documents many of the most important aspects of American culture, with a focus on race relations, poverty, Civil Rights and urban life.

In addition, Parks was a celebrated composer, author and filmmaker who interacted with many of the most prominent people of his era — from politicians and artists to celebrities and athletes. In 1969 he became the first African-American to write and direct a Hollywood feature film based on his bestselling novel “The Learning Tree.” This was followed in 1971 by the hugely successful motion picture “Shaft.”

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Born On This Day in 1912: Acclaimed Photographer & Director Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks
(Photo: BILL FOLEY /Landov) 
Gordon Parks was a master of many arts: photography, film making, music and fiction. But the world almost missed the opportunity to experience and enjoy his major contributions.   Born on Nov. 30, 1912, to a family in Fort Scott, Kansas, that already included 14 other children, Parks was declared stillborn when his doctor couldn’t detect a heartbeat. Thanks to another doctor who thought to immerse him in cold water, which got his heart beating, he survived.

Parks, who taught himself photography with a used camera he bought for $7.50, led a life filled with firsts and major milestones, including shooting for Vogue and becoming the first Black photographer at Life magazine, where for two decades he documented the civil rights movement, race relations and urban life in America. 
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