The Photograph

Release Date:  2/14/20; In Theaters
Genre:  Drama/Romance
Rating:  Unknown
Director:  Stella Meghie
Studio(s):  Universal; Will Packer Productions
Running Time: Unknown
Cast: Issa Rae, LaKeith Stanfield, Chelsea Peretti, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Chante Adams, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Y’lan Noel, Courtney B. Vance, Lil Rel Howery, Teyonah Parris.

Details: The plot centers on intertwining love stories in the past and present.  Source:  Deadline; Photo Source: Variety.

Wild Seed

Status:  In Development
Release Date: TBA
Genre: Drama
Studio(s):  JuVee Productions
Director:  Wanuri Kahiu
Cast: TBA
Details:  Amazon Prime Video will join forces with Academy Award winner Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions in developing Wild Seed, a drama series based on the first book in Octavia E. Butler’s acclaimed Patternist sci-fi series, from Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions.

Wild Seed is a love (and hate) story of two African immortals who travel the ages from pre-Colonial West Africa to the far, far future. Doro, a killer who uses his power to breed people like livestock, encounters Anyanwu, a healer who forces him to reassess his millennia of cruel behavior.  For centuries, their personal battles change the course of our world as they struggle against the backdrop of time — master vs slave, man vs woman, killer vs healer.

Wild Seed was the first tome chronologically and third to be published in the five-book Patternmaster series from Science Fiction Hall of Famer Butler, who died in 2006 at the age of 58.  Butler was a renowned African-American writer of science-fiction, who was acclaimed for her lean prose, strong protagonists, and social observations in her stories.  Ms. Butler’s work is translated into 12 foreign languages and her books are taught in over 400 college courses.  “Wild Seed is a book that shifted my life,” said Davis. “It is as epic, as game changing, as moving and brilliant as any Science Fiction novel ever written.”  This is the second project based on an Octavia Butler novel that is in development. Victoria Mahoney, Ava DuVernay and MACRO are developing Dawn as a television series.  Source(s):  Deadline; Shadow & Act.

Bitter Root

Status:  Pre-Production
Release Date:  TBA
Genre: Drama/Fantasy/History
Studio(s):  Legendary Pictures
Director:  TBA
Cast:  TBA
Details: Legendary Pictures is bringing Image Comics’ 1920s fantasy action series Bitter Root to the big screen. The film will be based on the comic series by David F. Walker, Sanford Greene and Chuck Brown and features the Sangeryes family, a Black family of monster hunters during the Harlem Renaissance in 1924. They are the only defense against a horde of monsters set to invade New York City. These monsters feed off of many of America’s ills like bigotry and discrimination. The family has splintered over the years, and now the remaining members must unite to save the city.  Source:  Shadow & Act; Photo Source:  ComingSoon.

Holiday Rush

Status:  Filming
Release Date:  TBA – Netflix
Genre:  Romance/Holiday
Studio(s):  Poke Prod
Director:  Leslie Small
Cast:  Sonequa Martin-Green (Roxy Richardson), Romany Malco (Rashon ‘Rush’ Williams), Tamala Jones (Jocelyn ‘Joss’ Hawkings), La La Anthony (Paula Williams), Deon Cole (Marshall Stone), Darlene Love (Aunt Jo Robinson), Amarr M. Wooten (Jamal Williams), Roscoe Orman (Reginald Miller), Alysia Livingston (Janella).

Details:  Single dad and radio DJ Rashon “Rush” Williams loses his job right as his four entitled kids share their pricey Christmas lists. To keep Rush on the air in New York, his producer and aunt plan to help him buy another station — if the Williams family can downsize fast and embrace a simpler life. In this heartwarming film, a loving father reconnects with his children when they all learn that true joy comes from who you have, not what you have.  Source & Photo:  Blackfilm.com.

Sylvie

Status:  Filming
Release Date: TBA
Genre:  Drama
Studio(s):  Iam21 Entertainment
Director:  Eugene Ashe

Cast:  Tessa Thompson (Sylvie), Nnamdi Asomugha (Robert), John Magaro (Sid), Wendi McLendon-Covey (Lucy), Eva Longoria  (Carmen), Lance Reddick (Herbert), Jemima Kirke (Countess), Ryan Michelle Bathe (Kate), Regé-Jean Page (Chico), Aja Naomi King (Mona), Tone Bell, Erica Gimpel (Eunice), MC Lyte (Mikki).

Details:  The film is described as a love story set in the cool jazz era of New York City in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  It follows Sylvie (Thompson) who meets aspiring saxophonist Robert (Asomugha) when he takes a job at her father’s record store in Harlem.  After a summer romance that comes to an end, the two fatefully reconnect several years later and find that their feelings for each other have never disappeared.  Source:  The Wrap.

Teddy Prendergrass Biopic

Status: In Development
Release Date:  TBA
Genre:  Biography
Studio(s): Warner Bros, De Line Pictures, Voltron Pictures
Director:  TBA
Cast: Tyreese Gibson (Teddy Pendergrass)
Details:  Warner Bros Pictures has acquired the life rights of iconic Philadelphia-born R&B singer-songwriter Teddy Pendergrass, a movie project that has Fast & Furious actor Tyrese Gibson set to star in the lead role.  Donald De Line will produce via his De Line Pictures studio banner, along with Lee Daniels and Gibson via his Voltron Pictures. Pendergrass’ widow, Joan Pendergrass, is an executive producer.

In the early 70s, Teddy Pendergrass rose to fame as the lead singer of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes before skyrocketing to stardom as a solo artist, releasing four consecutive platinum albums between 1977-1981 (then a record for an African-American R&B artist). His work included numerous hits and his massive popularity continued to escalate.  By the end of the 80s, with the media calling him “The Black Elvis” — not only for his unprecedented crossover popularity, but also for the mansion similar to Elvis’ Graceland he built just outside his hometown of Philadelphia.

On March 18, 1982, while driving his Rolls Royce, Pendergrass lost control on Lincoln Drive in the East Falls section of Philadelphia, hitting a guard rail, crossing into opposing traffic and careening into two trees. He suffered a spinal cord injury that left him a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest down.  Suicidal after the accident, Pendergrass would struggle to come back from the tragedy with the help of an extraordinary psychiatrist — who was also a paraplegic — to learn how to sing all over again.  For the next two decades, he would continue his successful solo career until his retirement in 2007.  Pendergrass died in 2010.  Source:  Deadline; Photo:  Black Enterprise.

Coffee Will Make You Black

Status:  In Development
Release Date: TBA
Genre:  Drama
Studio(s):  Wyolah Films, Orit Productions
Director:  Deborah Riley Draper
Cast:  Gabrielle Union

Details: Gabrielle Union will star in and produce an adaptation of the April Sinclair novel.  Octavia Spencer will also produce along with Tate Taylor and John Norris. Coffee Will Make You Black follows a smart, funny and naive African American teenage girl finding her voice as she navigates conflicting relationships with her mother, her best friends, and her crushes amid racism, sexism and colorism in 1960s Chicago.  Source:  Shadow & Act.  Image Source:  Buzzfeed