Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Denzel Washington Is One of Hollywood's Most Overpaid Stars, According to Forbes Denzel Washington Is One of Hollywood's Most Overpaid Stars, According to Forbes Bill Duke's 'Dark Girls' Follow-up, 'Light Girls,' Gets a First Trailer & Release date (Heading to OWN) Bill Duke's 'Dark Girls' Follow-up, 'Light Girls,' Gets a First Trailer & Release date (Heading to OWN) Watch Trailer for Romcom 'With This Ring' (Regina Hall, Jill Scott, Eve Star - Coming January 2015) Watch Trailer for Romcom 'With This Ring' (Regina Hall, Jill Scott, Eve Star - Coming January 2015) Here Are the Top 10 Grossing "Black Films" of 2014... How Many of Them Did You See? Here Are the Top 10 Grossing "Black Films" of 2014... How Many of Them Did You See? Debbie Allen & Phylicia Rashad Sign Up for 'Arsenic and Old Lace' Playing the Brewster Sisters Debbie Allen & Phylicia Rashad Sign Up for 'Arsenic and Old Lace' Playing the Brewster Sisters Kickstart This: A Film About a 150 Year-Old Black Vampire With Suicidal Urges Kickstart This: A Film About a 150 Year-Old Black Vampire With Suicidal Urges Weekend B.O. Dec. 19-21 (Sony's Grateful for Small Blessings, while Paramount Blew it) Weekend B.O. Dec. 19-21 (Sony's Grateful for Small Blessings, while Paramount Blew it) Ava DuVernay Has Multi-Episode TV Series on "Black Experience in America" in the Works Ava DuVernay Has Multi-Episode TV Series on "Black Experience in America" in the Works Sony Hack Reveals the Insufferable Whiteness of Hollywood Sony Hack Reveals the Insufferable Whiteness of Hollywood Preview: Jessica Williams of 'The Daily Show' Makes Leading Lady Debut in 'Tap Shoes & Violins' Preview: Jessica Williams of 'The Daily Show' Makes Leading Lady Debut in 'Tap Shoes & Violins' '106 & PARK' Says Goodbye Today, Dec 19 at 6pm, w/ Live, 2-hour, Star-Studded Finale! '106 & PARK' Says Goodbye Today, Dec 19 at 6pm, w/ Live, 2-hour, Star-Studded Finale! First Image of Queen Latifah as Bessie Smith in Upcoming HBO Biopic First Image of Queen Latifah as Bessie Smith in Upcoming HBO Biopic The Best of Black Television in 2014 The Best of Black Television in 2014 The Gift That Keeps on Giving - Leaked Sony Email Challenges Denzel Washington's Overseas Box Office Appeal The Gift That Keeps on Giving - Leaked Sony Email Challenges Denzel Washington's Overseas Box Office Appeal Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) 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...

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Danny Glover Set For Gina Prince-Bythewood's 'Blackbird'

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act August 15, 2013 at 6:50PM

An update to my July 9 post, which fills in some holes, providing added information I didn't have at the time.
5
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)

An update to my July 9 post, which fills in some holes, providing added information I didn't have at the time. 

But first a recap...

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). 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. 

Skip ahead a year+ to last month, when I just happened to catch a tweet from Bythewood, 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 that day (July 9), which she said is something she'd been wanting to make for some time, and is evidently now getting the opportunity to do so. 

She described 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 at the time on who else is involved.

This afternoon, Deadline is reporting that Relativity has acquired worldwide rights to Blackbird, providing financing and distribution for, with Stephanie Allain producing. 

Furthermore, joining Gugu Mbatha-Raw in the film's cast are Nate Parker and Danny Glover

The film's official synopsis reads:

Blackbird is the story of Noni Jean, a hot new artist who has just won a Grammy and is primed for stardom. But the pressures of success compel her to nearly end her life until she is saved by a young police officer. They fall hard for each other, despite the protests of their parents who want each to focus on their own career ambitions. But he might be the missing piece to unlock her artistic potential. 

We can assume that Gugu plays Noni Jean, and Nate Parker is likely playing the young police officer she falls hard for.

Relativity president Tucker Tooley is exec producing with Matt Alvarez and Reggie Bythewood

This will be Bythewood's first feature film directorial effort since 2008's The Secret Life of Bees.

Worth noting, 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. I can only guess that one of them might change.

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

This article is related to: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Danny Glover, Gina Prince-Bythewood


Shadow & ActNewsletter