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Lee Daniels Says He's Developing A Post-Slavery Black Western...

by Tambay A. Obenson
February 26, 2013 11:27 AM
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Our friends at The Root interviewed director Lee Daniels a few days before Sunday's Oscar ceremony, and in that interview they talked specifically about Django Unchained (Daniels had been silent on the film, and shares his thoughts on it w/ The Root; in short, he hated it), Spike Lee (notably the backlash he faced when he said Django Unchained was disrespectful to our ancestors, and how much love Daniels has for Spike and the work he's done, and for having the balls to speak out against the film), why it's still tough for black films to get made in Hollywood, and more.

I'm not going to share what he said on all those topics, because, frankly, we've talked them to death. You can head over to The Root to read the full interview.

But what did get my attention, and that I thought was worth mentioning, was this piece of the interview:

TR: Louis Gossett Jr. said to The Root that he'd like to see filmmakers like you or Spike Lee do a movie on real-life Djangos or cowboys like a Nat Love or Bass Reeves. Is that an option for you?

LD: Yeah, yeah! I got one in my repertoire coming; I got one coming. Yep, I'm developing something. It's not during slavery but right after slavery.

So it sounds like a post-Civil War, Reconstruction-set black western from Lee Daniels, might be something to look forward to in the future - whenever/if it eventually does happen.

You know how these things go; new projects are revealed daily, filmmakers talk about projects they're developing, but many never become a reality. Daniels already has so many projects on his upcoming slate, all announced since Precious; he's completed one (The Paperboy), and he's currently working on another (The Butler), and there are 4 or 5 others that are waiting to be made. I suppose we can add this mysterious black western he tells The Root about to that to-do list.

Hopefully, in time, he'll reveal more about it. I wished the interviewer would have pressed for further information.

All we can do now is wonder and speculate.

I haven't loved all of Daniels' work, but he's an interesting filmmaker to me; I appreciate that he isn't afraid to take risks and I'm always curious about the choices he makes.

Read the full interview with The Root HERE.

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  • getthesenets | February 26, 2013 3:57 PMReply

    John Singleton is on a youtube clip discussing similar topics during the TIFF

    django, spike's comments, his history with qt, his ORIGINAL idea from over twenty years ago to do a version of a Black western(him contacting qt to help pen the screenplay back THEN),Rosewood,etc,etc,etc,

    S&A should write an entry about that interview

  • Tracy | February 26, 2013 1:47 PMReply

    Lets just hope hope Lee does not Fuck The Butler up because The Paperboy was almost as awful as Red Hook Summer. If you think Spike Lee got hate for comments on a film many loved then just you wait on the hate he will get if Old Boy turns our to be awful.

  • Curtis | February 26, 2013 12:37 PMReply

    I disagree with him on Django. Black people did not run to see Django just to see ourself on the big screen. We ran out to see the movie because it got great reviews. Outstanding word of mouth and huge buzz. Are you saying the only reason black people saw Precious was for the same reason. Although I am 100% sure if it was not for Tyler Perry and Oprah Precious would have had the same fate as your other films.

  • cru777 | February 26, 2013 8:37 PM

    @ the other curtis

    i'm glad someone else noticed it.

  • The Other Curtis | February 26, 2013 12:49 PM

    Um, does this "Curtis" ever comment on any other posts that aren't about Django? Every Django post, there's "Curtis" talking about how great a box office hit the movie was always pumping up the movie. Must be on the Django marketing team or sumthin'

  • ALM | February 26, 2013 12:20 PMReply

    While there are often mixed feelings on Daniels, I truly appreciate his solidarity for Spike Lee. Spike can be rough and come off as a jerk at times, but it's good to see successful African American directors support each other. I do think that it would have been better if Daniels had spoken up a little sooner when Spike was catching all the heat he caught.

    With regards to his positive words about working with Oprah and wanting to work with her again, he should help her make the Broadway project she's been wanting to do come to life.

    I agree with Daniels on this statement from the interview, "Because if I do a movie to get an Oscar, it's silly. It doesn't work like that. You have to work from a place of truth and try to entertain people."

    I thought this comment on "Django: Unchained" was interesting. "There were great performances in the film. But I think African Americans, because we're so hungry to see ourselves on the big screen, we'll see anything". This statement is really interesting, because some people would accuse those African Americans who saw "Precious" of the same thing, being hungry to see someone who looks like them on screen (even though they may be polar opposites of the character in real life).

  • JMac | February 26, 2013 5:00 PM

    "I do think that it would have been better if Daniels had spoken up a little sooner when Spike was catching all the heat he caught. " None but a small handful would do that. Lee Daniels may have his opinions but he's not crazy. Better to let everyone hit their favorite permanent lightening rod than become subject to the same treatment. All good though because Spike can handle it while the others can't.

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