O’Shea Jackson Jr. wants to get video game movies right - and also make anime. The past four years have been an exciting time for Jackson, whose name was a relatively unknown one prior to 2015. But since deciding to take on the role of his father - legendary rapper Ice Cube - in the big screen biopic of Rock n Roll Hall of Fame rap group N.W.A., Jackson’s career as an actor has taken off.
Few could have predicted the success that would follow the release of Straight Outta Compton, as the film went on to commercial and critical success before capping things off with an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Since then, Jackson has gone on to work on a handful of films, with two releases in 2019 - the Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron rom-com Long Shot and the upcoming Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Beyond these, the 28-year-old star continues to gain more traction with his film roles, and next year will see Jackson star alongside the likes of Brie Larson, Jamie Foxx, and Michael B. Jordan in the true-life legal drama Just Mercy.
For now, however, Jackson appears to be focusing on much more than the upcoming slate of films he’s involved with. In fact, a recent Screen Rant interview with Jackson during his press junket for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, revealed at least a portion of the direction he wants to go with his career, branching out beyond acting and into some very ambitious artistic pursuits. Revealing a love for anime and an optimistic belief in the future of video game movies, Jackson said:
"I wanna make my own anime. I really want to do that. I feel that there’s a lot of people in the culture that are fans of Anime, but I think we really don’t have that many anime’s directed towards us. We have Boondocks, Black Dynamite, Afro Samurai... and that’s really it. I really want to do something cool with that. And I wanna be the guy that gets video game movies right. I feel like video game movies are used as a cash grab, and they have loyal fans; a loyal fanbase that’s untouched, and I wanna knock that out."
While creating and delivering an anime concept is no easy task given the immense competition from Japan, from the sounds of it, Jackson wants to create anime that is specific to a black audience, or at the very least speaks to a different demographic than traditional Anime does. As far as video game movies are concerned, Jackson’s got a valid point - one that has been shared by gamers for decades. Even some of the best game titles like Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed have fallen flat as big screen adaptations, much to the frustration of fans.
Exactly what sort of subjects Jackson would like to take on in his proposed anime is unknown, meaning that it could be years before something substantial gets going. At the same time, however, the fact that he wants to push things in new directions is encouraging. It’s also unknown which video game titles Jackson would like to develop (or what he proposes to do differently), but the fact that an actual gamer is interested in pushing video game movies forward is far more enticing than hearing that Uwe Boll wants to continue exploring the genre.
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) release date: May 31, 2019