Blumhouse Productions is Producing an Adaptation of The Comic Series THE AMERICAN WAY
Blumhouse Productions has teamed up with writer and producer John Ridley to develop a feature film adaptation of his comic book series The American Way: Those Above and Those Below. Ridley is also the writer of the Oscar-winning film 12 Years A Slave and the creator of the ABC series American Crime. He will write and direct the film with Jason Blum producing.
The story is said to use superheroes "to explore timely social issues including race and integration." The comic was published as a six-issue monthly miniseries last year by DC Entertainment’s Vertigo label. Ridley wrote the story which was illustrated by George Jeanty and it was a follow-up to their 2007 graphic novel The American Way.
The original story "dealt with the creation of a team of ’60s superheroes called The Civil Defense Corps, each with special powers but also a specific ethnic makeup designed to make segments of the American population feel safe and represented. There is also a group of supervillains pitted against the heroes, but the whole thing is partly a contrivance to pacify an American public growing increasingly inflamed with the times."
As far as the movie goes, it will be set in 1972 and pick up a decade after the original story takes place. Here is a detailed description that was released by Deadline:
"Ridley has said his inspiration for the series was Ridley reading of LBJ’s desire to add a black astronaut to the space program. Jason Fisher is added to the superhero roster as The New American, a black man subjected to genetic manipulation to give him super strength but a limited pain threshold. His presence creates turmoil within the superhero crew, emblematic of the times, and when the government creates a new superhero called Hellbent to mask this strife, the superhero crew is devastated by the results.
"Ten years after the CDC was torn apart by racism, infighting and murder and exposed as a propaganda sham, the surviving members are heading in different directions. Missy Devereaux–a.k.a. Ole Miss–is transitioning from the First Lady of Mississippi into a candidate for governor and defender of a vanishing and hateful way of life. Amber Eaton–formerly known as Amber Waves–is a domestic terrorist, using her powers to infiltrate and destroy the country’s centers of power. Fisher has remained a crime fighter conflicted with being a propaganda prop to sustain a system rigged against the black population of America. He tries to become a champion of the disenfranchised people of inner-city Baltimore, who are wary he is a tool of the heavy-handed police force. Though the film will be set in 1972, there are plenty of issues that ring relevant today and that give this a chance to be more than your typical spandex saga."
I've never read the comic, but it sounds like it has the makings of a great and different kind of superhero film that will also have a powerful message. I'm fascinated by this story and I'm curious to see how this story will be handled as it's adapted for the big screen.
Blumhouse Productions is mostly known for the horror films that they've been releasing recently. I'm happy to see that they are expanding into other genres.