Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) Barbie Is Honoring Ava DuVernay (and Other "Sheroes") With Her Very Own Doll. Have a Look... Barbie Is Honoring Ava DuVernay (and Other "Sheroes") With Her Very Own Doll. Have a Look... BET Unveils 2015-2016 Slate Additions: New Original Scripted & Unscripted Series, Movies, News Specials & More BET Unveils 2015-2016 Slate Additions: New Original Scripted & Unscripted Series, Movies, News Specials & More Jada Pinkett Smith's Fish Mooney Will Return to 'Gotham' Streets with a New Look & Tougher Than Ever Jada Pinkett Smith's Fish Mooney Will Return to 'Gotham' Streets with a New Look & Tougher Than Ever Mo'Nique Presents Email Evidence That Shows She Was in Contention for the Role of Cookie in 'Empire' Mo'Nique Presents Email Evidence That Shows She Was in Contention for the Role of Cookie in 'Empire' Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library In May Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library In May James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson Will Share a Stage Again in a Revival of 'The Gin Game' James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson Will Share a Stage Again in a Revival of 'The Gin Game' Watch: Michael Jackson’s Movie Career Summed Up in 7 Minutes Watch: Michael Jackson’s Movie Career Summed Up in 7 Minutes Watch First Trailer for 'Desperate Housewives - Africa' + Individual Character Profiles Watch First Trailer for 'Desperate Housewives - Africa' + Individual Character Profiles Watch Trailer for Jordan Davis Documentary, '3 1/2 Minutes.' Coming to HBO This Fall Watch Trailer for Jordan Davis Documentary, '3 1/2 Minutes.' Coming to HBO This Fall Quentin Tarantino's 'H8ful Eight' Gets a Teaser Trailer (Samuel L. Jackson, Belinda Owino) Quentin Tarantino's 'H8ful Eight' Gets a Teaser Trailer (Samuel L. Jackson, Belinda Owino) Here Are the Cities & Theaters in Which Patrik-Ian Polk's Award-Winning Drama 'Blackbird' Will Open Here Are the Cities & Theaters in Which Patrik-Ian Polk's Award-Winning Drama 'Blackbird' Will Open Trailer: Pilot Project 'First Gen' (The Trials and Tribulations of Being a First Gen Nigerian-American) Trailer: Pilot Project 'First Gen' (The Trials and Tribulations of Being a First Gen Nigerian-American) Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Whoopi Goldberg & Daughter Alex Martin Enter Reality TV Series Ring Whoopi Goldberg & Daughter Alex Martin Enter Reality TV Series Ring Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Gina Prince-Bythewood Begins Pre-production On Love Story 'Blackbird' Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act July 9, 2013 at 5:10PM

Just over a year ago, I had a phone chat with writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood about a piece I wrote around the same time on what I called the "dismal outlook for black filmmakers in Hollywood" (read it HERE if you missed it). I learned quite a bit from that conversation, in which she essentially filled in some holes I couldn't really address in my piece because, well, I'm not on the inside, and just don't have the necessary access.
3
Actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw and choreographer by Laurieann Gibson (Photo credit: Stephanie Allain)
Actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw and choreographer by Laurieann Gibson (Photo credit: Stephanie Allain)

Just over a year ago, I had a phone chat with writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood about a piece I wrote around the same time on what I called the "dismal outlook for black filmmakers in Hollywood" (read it HERE if you missed it). I learned quite a bit from that conversation, in which she essentially filled in some holes I couldn't really address in my piece because, well, I'm not on the inside, and just don't have the necessary access.

But it was great talking to her and hearing her take on this "lack of representation problem" we discuss so often here on S&A and elsewhere. 

During that conversation, I learned that she was working on a project or two, although she couldn't give any details on what any of those projects were/are, understandably. 

We did eventually learn that she was in talks to direct Before I Fall, for FOX - an adaptation of the best-selling young-adult novel by Lauren Oliver, which centers on a pretty and popular high-school senior, with the perfect boyfriend and seemingly perfect life, who sees it all turned on its head after a late-night of partying.

Also worth noting, Bythewood was developing an adaptation of Wally Lamb's novel I Know This Much Is True - once an Oprah Book Club selection.

Skip ahead a year+ to today, when I just happened to catch a tweet from Bythewood (she only very recently joined Twitter - about 4 days ago actually), in which she shared the above photo, along with the caption:

Official day one rehearsal with my star Gugu Mbatha-Raw & Laurieann Gibson! Putting in work!  

Needless to say, she immediately had my attention, and I instantly went on a hunt to see what I could find out about this. 

In short, Bythewood began pre-production on a project titled Blackbird today, which she says is something she's been wanting to make for some time, and is evidently now getting the opportunity to do so. 

She describes the film as "a love story set in the music world," adding that The-Dream is creating all the original music for film, which will be choreographed by Laurieann Gibson.

Obviously Gugu Mbatha-Raw (who we'll next see in Amma Asante's period piece, Belle) is starring. No word yet on who else is involved at this time.

Provided all goes well without any production setbacks, this will be Bythewood's first feature film directorial effort since 2008's The Secret Life of Bees.

This will be the second film by a black filmmaker, with a black cast, with the title Blackbird, announced in the last 6 months. Patrik-Ian Polk has begun work on his 5th feature film (he was casting for it as recently as February), also titled Blackbird.

But needless to say, I'm looking forward to seeing what Bythewood is cooking up currently, so stay tuned...

This article is related to: Gina Prince-Bythewood, Gugu Mbatha-Raw


Shadow & ActNewsletter