Casting details have emerged for Spike Lee's upcoming Nightwatch comic book film. Superhero movies and comic book adaptations are more popular than ever and have begun attracting talent that, just a few years ago, would have been a pipe dream. Just this week, it was announced that Steven Spielberg is producing DC's Blackhawk movie and intends to direct it himself. Similarly, it was only last fall that the news emerged that two-time Oscar nominated Lee is being courted to direct a Nightwatch film as part of Sony's burgeoning Spider-Man spinoff universe.
Lee of course is best known for being a socially and politically provocative filmmaker; a trend that will continue this summer, when the Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, and 25th Hour director releases the docudrama BlacKkKlansman in theaters. The filmmaker is also working on a second season of his feature directing debut-turned Netflix series She's Gotta Have It, which revolves around a woman and her three lovers. After that, it appears that Lee will change things up by tackling Nighwatch from a script that he is developing with Luke Cage's creator and showrunner, Cheo Hodari Coker.
Related: Summer 2018 Movie Preview
THS previously broke the news about Coker's involvement with Nightwatch and is now reporting that he will serve as a producer on the film, in addition to its writer. The site has also learned that the film is looking to cast a black actor aged 25-40 to play the titular role; the superhero moniker adapted by Dr. Kevin Trench. A search is also underway for the movie's as-yet unidentified female lead, and THS believes that Trench's ex-girlfriend is the most likely candidate for the mystery player.
Nightwatch was introduced in 1993, but his comic book mythology has gone through some big changes over the decades since then. The setup is that Dr. Trench witnesses a vigilante dressed in a technologically-advanced costume being killed in combat one night, only to discover that the vigilante is a future version of himself. She-Hulk has become an important player in his story in more recent years but, as noted by THS, she's unlikely to appear in Lee's film due to rights issues. That increases the odds of the female lead being Trench's ex, who played a key role in his origins prior to the Nightwatch series retcon some five years ago.
The sci-fi elements of Nightwatch set it apart from Sony's other developing Spider-Man spinoffs, which include the Venom movie arriving this fall and the Silver Sable and Black Cat film, Silver & Black. Nightwatch also gives Sony a black superhero movie of its own and will allow Lee to explore themes of race (his longtime interest) through the lens of the comic book genre. The year alone, Marvel Studios' Black Panther movie and The CW's Black Lightning TV show have shown that's territory primed for further examination onscreen, which bodes well for development on Nighwatch picking up speed now.
We will bring you more details on the Nightwatch movie as they become available.
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018
- Silver and Black release date: