Trailer For Jeta Amata's Reshot Niger Delta Drama "Black November" Now w/ More Hollywood Names In Cast

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by Tambay A. Obenson
April 7, 2012 11:50 AM
6 Comments
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A quick recap... as reported about 2 months ago, Nigerian filmmaker Jeta Amata decided to rethink and reshoot his political corruption drama about the volatile oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria, Black Gold, one of very few recent Hollywood/Nollywood-style collabs which stars Billy Zane (yup, that Billy Zane), Tom Sizemore, Vivica FoxSarah Wayne Callies (who's currently starring in AMC's hit new zombie series, The Walking Dead), Mbong Amata, Hakeem Kae Kazim (the Brit/Nigerian who has appeared in several British and American TV shows and films), and several others.

Why did Amata want to rethink and reshoot the film? His words...

"It had to be more current. It had to adhere strictly to what was going on right now – the Arab spring and all that... It was a huge challenge that the Arabs posed to the rest of the world, especially the people in the Niger delta. If they can look at their dictators and say, 'No, we want a change', there's no reason why people in west Africa can't stand up. And it's beginning to happen."  

Oh!? And I thought maybe it was because the film just wasn't very good at all! Silly me for even thinking that :)

No matter, because in rethinking and reshooting the film, the 37-year-old was able to attract even more Hollywood talent to the project, so obviously some are cool with it even if I wasn't; although I'm sure the paychecks were probably attractive too.

Amata reportedly reshot about 60% of the film (wow, that's almost the entire frigging movie), and added some more familiar names to its cast, like Mickey Rourke, Kim Basinger and Anne Heche; This is an ensemble behemoth with all the names that are appearing in this thing! On paper, one can't help but be intrigued.

And also Amata changed the name from Black Gold to Black November (a reference to the month of activist Ken Saro-Wiwa's execution in 1995, and likely also to avoid any confusion with Jean-Jacques Annaud's critically-acclaimed oil epic, also titled Black Gold).

The *new* film will be released in Nigeria and in the USA later this year. How much improved will it be over its predecessor? I can only hope that it'll be significantly better.

But we do have our first look at the rethought/reshot Black November below, in the form of its first official trailer; so take a look at it below (although I gotta say, except for new scenes showing the added cast members, it doesn't look all that different from the trailer for the original film, Black Gold, which I embedded underneath the current trailer).

And here's the trailer for the original film, Black Gold:

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6 Comments

  • BONO | April 8, 2012 4:35 PMReply

    A reshoot? Love it! Relentless Amata!!!

  • Criticalacclaim | April 8, 2012 1:39 PMReply

    It doesn't look that bad to me. But it does look like a lot of useless money was spent. They could have made a better film without all the washed up white faces. No studio is going to put this out. White people will not care about this movie. Black people don't give a damn if Anne Heche is in it. And yes, Carey, they need to talk to some BLACK Americans. I'm sure Mickey and Kim took a nice chunk of change, did a day or two of work and never looked back. This cast is a who's who of bad DVD stars. It could be something worth seeing though for the Nigerian oil storyline. I find that interesting. Also this trailer is yuck. They need some professional marketing help.

  • CareyCarey | April 7, 2012 10:57 PMReply

    Okay, first, I am a little upset that Tiger Woods is not doing so well in The Masters, and Phil Mickelson has mounted a comeback (he's leading). I can't stand Phil Mickelson. So please excuse the tone of my comment. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Now, when I first saw the cast in this film, it immediately said, "CORNY"! Yeah, who saw Billy Zane in "Momma I Wanna Sing". Well, the movie and Billy Zane were... ah... CORN-PON. And please, Eric Roberts of Celebrity Rehab fame? But wait, the real kicker was Vivica Fox. Now come on, in this role she's about as believable as Chris Rock playing the POTUS. And when is Mickey Rouke going to take off his makeup from Sin City? Gee-wiz, that guy is starting to look like the poster child for "Face Lifts for $69.00". Okay, quick.... for real movie buffs, quickly tell me the last movie (good movie) that you saw Michael Madsen in? .....times up, I say 1992 Reservoir Dogs. Granted, he was in Kill Bill I & II, but Mr. Blonde was his shining moment. Kim Basinger and Anne Heche?? Uuuuummm, the jury is still out. Anyway, from what I saw in this clip, and my previously mentioned concerns, if I was a friend of Nigerian filmmaker Jeta Amata, I'd pull him to the side and say, "my friend, don't write another check before you talk with a few Americans"... "And you might want to consider re-doing the redux". I mean, it has a lot of guns and explosives and mean looking black folks, but.... But this film is screaming "K-Mart bargin bin"

  • jingmei | April 7, 2012 10:36 PMReply

    Was about to mention there is a French film Black Gold.

  • CareyCarey | April 8, 2012 10:36 AM

    Deena, unfortunately, it's my opinion that you've described most filmmakers. Particularly the parts about egos, the need to tell a GOOD story and the "my film" mentality. You said it best, "it IS a highly collaborative medium". To champion that point I have an analogy. I don't know if you're familar with American style football but it's a highly collaborative effort. The General Manager is equivalent to the Producer. The Head coach = The Director. The Quarterback is similar to the lead actor. However, as you said, this team is not going very far without a good story/storyteller. In walks the Offensive Coordinator whose primary job is to draw up the plays that are designed to move their team down field. In filmmaking terms, it's safe to call him or her the screenwriter/storyteller. But none of the aforementioned people can do an effective job without the assistance of key personal on the sidelines and up in the press-boxes, i.e. video/photo, scouts, visionaries, feedback personal, bench coaches, etc. In the filmmaking world I believe we're talking about the many responsibilities of the cinematographer and technical crews. In short, if Mr. Ego gets in the way, which might find the HNIC wearing too many hats (size 8 on a 6 7/8 head), the football game will surely end on a sore note and a film will surely suffer.

  • deena | April 8, 2012 5:57 AM

    Carey Carey, first you need to understand Nigeria. Filmmaking is an ego thing. Anybody from Europe or America is better especially if they are white. In Jeta's head, this line up is a score. He still and probably will never understand that firstly you need a good story and basic directing abilities :) No doubt he is a good producer but like most in sub saharan Africa, he is still in the 'my film' mentality instead of recognising that it is a highly collaborative medium!

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