Studio 8 announced on Thursday that Warner Bros. has scooped up Black, the long-gestating feature adaptation of the Black Mask Studios comic series from co-creators Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3. In Black, superpowers are real, but it’s only the Black community that posses them. Writing the script is DC’s Titans producer Bryan Edward Hill, who’ll draw inspiration from the cult comic book series from Black Mask Studios.
According to Deadline, the story centers on one young man who survives a violent event and realizes that he is part of these extraordinary people, but a secret consortium wants to control these abilities and those who possess them, and he soon finds himself at the center of a war over the future of mankind itself.
Jeff Robinov, Guy Danella, and John Graham will produce from Studio 8 with Black Mask Studio’s Matteo Pizzolo and Brett Gurewitz to serve as producer and executive producer. Osajyefo and Smith are co-producers as well. Meanwhile, the search for a director is still underway.
“Part of the inspiration for Black came from my experiencing the lack of representation in comics publishing and how that directly relates to the scarceness of black characters,” said Osajyefo. “For most of comics’ history, white outcasts have been used as allegories for marginalized groups while claiming to reflect the world outside our window. BLACK strips away this veneer to juxtapose superpowers with race while allowing black people to see ourselves authentically in media and inviting wider audiences into parts of our experience. We’re excited to bring this story to everyone through film and thankful to Studio 8 for believing in it.”
“We became involved in the development of this story over a year ago,” said Studio 8 CEO Jeff Robinov. “Black represents a new generation of storytellers and creators who can accurately tell black stories with the type of care the industry has lacked for decades. The thought-provoking concept caught our attention early on, and we’re proud to play a role in bringing this story to the screen.”
With Black Lives Matter protests currently happening all across the globe, now feels like the most opportune time for Black to finally gain some traction on its way to the screen. Despite Black being a work of fiction, its themes, characters, and messaging are as real as it gets. Since its debut, Black has served as a powerful platform for marginalized groups who continue to struggle when striving for representation in the comics medium and beyond. Having read Black myself – as well as some of its spin-off series – I feel as if I can vouch for its outstanding quality, and say that you’re in for something special when the upcoming adaptation makes its message known to the masses.