Writer/director Rick Famuyiwa is boarding the long developing movie adaptation of Charles Burns’ cult comic book series Black Hole, with New Regency and Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment producing. Famuyiwa was once attached to oversee Warner Bros. and DC’s upcoming Flash solo movie Flashpoint starring Ezra Miller, before he stepped down back in October of 2016. The filmmaker’s would-be DC superhero project is well in his rearview mirror by now, as he’s moved onto different ventures that include the pilot episode for Showtime’s TV drama The Chi (though that didn’t stop him from throwing some shade at Justice League on social media recently).
Black Hole is the second comic book adaptation that Famuyiwa has attached himself to since leaving the DC cinematic universe, with the other being a movie based on Jay Longino’s martial arts graphic novel Son of Shaolin. Since there hasn’t been a major update on the latter project following the news of Famuyiwa’s involvement, it stands to reason that Black Hole will instead serve as the filmmaker’s first time dipping his feet into the wide and varied world of comic books-turned movies.
THR is reporting that Famuyiwa has signed on to both write and direct Black Hole, with New Regency financing and Plan B further backing the venture. New Regency and Plan B have a rather lofty track record, having previously collaborated on the Best Picture Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave and the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar winner The Big Short. Plan B has also become known more and more for supporting Indie features directed by people of color, with Ava DuVernay’s Selma, Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, and Bong Joon-Ho’s Okja also on their resume. In addition to Black Hole, New Regency and Plan B’s upcoming features include Wrong Answer, the true story drama that will pair Black Panther director Ryan Coogler with actor Michael B. Jordan for the fourth time.
The original Black Hole comic book series was a 12-issue storyline published over the course of a decade (1995-2005) and was recognized with a number of prizes for excellence in graphic novel writing, including the Harvey and Eisner Awards. In terms of plot, the graphic novels revolve around a seemingly ordinary group of teenagers living and growing up in the suburbs of Seattle in the 1970s. Everything changes, however, when a sexually transmitted disease known as “The Bug” begins making the rounds, causing those infected with it to develop bizarre and often downright frightening physical mutations.
Burns’ twisted coming of age tale deals with themes of sexual awakening and social prejudice, and the film adaptation has unsurprisingly attracted directors with a fondness for the macabre in the past (including, Alexandre Aja and David Fincher). Famuyiwa hasn’t tried his hand at the sci-fi/horror genre before, but he did succeed in giving the coming of age formula some fresh and inspired twists with his acclaimed 2015 Indie flick Dope. Clearly, he’s eager to work on a genre movie (as evidenced by the projects that he’s circled since making Dope) and Black Hole will certainly be a unique one for Famuyiwa to cut his teeth on.
We will bring you more information on Black Hole as it becomes available.
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