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Steve McQueen To Make "Epic" BBC Drama On Black Experience In The UK From 1968 To 2014

by Sergio
January 10, 2014 8:39 AM
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The London Daily Mail is reporting today that director Steve McQueen is in early development on a BBC drama series he plans to make, “exploring the black experience in Britain."

McQueen told the paper that he soon plans to do a series of workshops, with an as yet unnamed group of actors and writers, to start developing the series, which will be set in West London, where McQueen was born.

He also said that the series will be "epic in scope," and will chronicle the lives of a group of friends and their families from 1968 to 2014.

He further added that he will spend most of this year developing the project, sharing that he was inspired to do the series since "I don’t think there has been a serious drama series in Britain with black people from all walks of life as the main protagonists."

With 12 Years A Slave almost totally behind him, the director also has a project set up at HBO, with World War Z co-writer Matthew Michael Carnahan, as well as Russell Simmons, and the Oscar-winning producers of The King’s Speech, Iain Canning and Emile Sherman. Details are currently sparse on the drama project, but it's being described as "an exploration of a young African American man’s experience entering New York high society, with a past that may not be what it seems."

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  • thehoneyeffect | January 11, 2014 8:41 AMReply

    'Black Experience' normally means Black male experience or 'Misogynoir', I wish someone that liked, supported, loved and valued the existence of Black women was directing it. I hope Steve will represent how many Black women have felt and do feel and show how Racism has effected us uniquely in terms of love and beauty in the UK too and how many of us are now wanting to leave.

  • Ruby's House | January 11, 2014 6:27 AMReply

    I'm a Black British writer who has been trying to get a green light for my feature film script, set in the 1950's. The film is about Black migrants who settled in London from the Caribbean. I've also got a feature film script, set in the 1980's, about a group of Black teenage friends, coming of age in Thatcher's Britain. Having paid a considerable amount of money to the BBC, in licence fees over the years, it would be good if some of that fee could go back into supporting Black writers, living in Britain, who have projects ready to go- right now. Any response BBC?

    Not trying to take anything away from the brilliant Steve McQueen, but BBC, there are a lot of Black British 'costume' dramas out there- All we need is support to make them.

  • Mikel Truss | January 10, 2014 6:59 PMReply

    I wonder if he will make mention of the black political movements in the UK such as the Panthers and various Rastafarian movements who used to fight the system by every means available or will it be another subservient story of black assimilation in the face of racism.
    The very kinds of resistance that forced English oppression to step back and think twice.
    He is a brilliant director but its not another generic retelling of black British passitivity.

  • Emmanuel | January 10, 2014 6:07 PMReply

    I like the sound of this. Good look for McQueen.

  • Alias | January 10, 2014 1:28 PMReply

    Good for McQueen - Nice to see a director/filmmaker who happens to be black, receiving accolades for thought-provoking, insightful, and ignored areas of culture and society. McQueen seems incredibly reflective, and cognizant, of making sure that he makes the most -- in a positive way -- of this unique period in time in which everyone in Hollywood wants to work with him. ...He's a breath of fresh air. ...He's what Spike Lee used to be.

  • | January 10, 2014 12:40 PMReply

    Steve McQueen is the anti-Coon. Bless him, and all his works!

  • Donella | January 10, 2014 11:53 AMReply

    Well, the Small Island miniseries with Naomi Harris and David Oyowelo was fascinating for me to watch because it covered the lives of West Indies expatriates in Britain.

    I'm looking forward to what Steve McQueen is planning because I know that he'll put his heart and soul into and the viewer will have an education.

    I'm so thrilled with McQueen's persistence because his work has a tremendous effect.

  • saadiyah | January 10, 2014 10:56 AMReply

    I'm definitely looking forward to this! I have relatives that emigrated to the UK from Jamaica decades ago. Hopefully someday soon I can visit. This subject is something that I've been interested in for a long time.

  • JayTeeDee | January 10, 2014 9:11 AMReply

    Steve McQueen is definitely hot right now and unlike many lesser known filmmakers that begin to get mainstream acclaim he seems to be making and or picking the projects that he wants that speak to his sensibilities instead of being a gun for hire to helm the next comic book franchise or young adult adaptation. I can't wait to see these upcoming projects.

  • BluTopaz | January 10, 2014 9:53 AM

    I agree Jayteedee, his projects are consistently original, thought provoking subjects. I am intrigued about this series as well.

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