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Whatever Became Of The Chiwetel Ejiofor-Starring Feature Film "Savannah"?

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by Emmanuel Akitobi
December 29, 2011 12:54 PM
10 Comments
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Adam Brandy Chiwetel Ejiofor, as young Christmas Moultrie

S&A's Tambay first told us about writer/director Annette Haywood Carter's film Savannah, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Jim Caviezel, nearly a year ago.  The film went into production shortly after that, and then the Savannah trail went cold.  Looking at this marketing teaser/trailer I was able to dig up, it's kind of easy to see why.

When it was announced, the following details were provided:

Caviezel will star as the real-life, “well-educated, eccentric, larger-than-life hunter” named Ward Allen who develops a unique friendship with a freed slave named Christmas Moultrie, played by Ejiofor.

The film is loosely based on a book by John Eugene Cay, Jr., titled, Ducks, Dogs and Friends, which tells the story of Christmas Moultrie (the last slave born on the historical Mulberry Grove Plantation, where the Cotton Gin was invented), who hunted on the Savannah River, together with Ward Allen, and his Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.

From what I have been able to learn, filming on Savannah wrapped fairly quickly. So quickly, in fact, that some Savannah, GA locals were surprised to see the film's teaser/trailer when it hit the Net in early March of this year, as they reportedly could still spot remnants of the film's production around town, and thought they were still filming.

The IMDb page for Savannah indicates a 2012 release.  Maybe on DVD . . . overseas.

I guess the teaser/trailer for Savannah isn't exactly horrible; I mean, we've seen worse.  But I truly believe that Ejiofor and Caviezel, as well as the supporting actors on this project, are very capable actors when given the right material.  They should not be blamed for what you're about to see.

Adam Brandy Chiwetel Ejiofor, as an aged Christmas Moultrie
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10 Comments

  • junebug | January 3, 2012 3:20 AMReply

    Funny how you never see Betty White and Hal Holbrook in the same place at the same time. Things that make you go "Hmm."

  • soulcreative | December 29, 2011 7:10 PMReply

    This could be a perfectly good movie. But, they do need to consider a re-cut of that trailer. I'm sure a lot of time, effort, money and talent went into making this film - Savannah looks beautiful. That old man does not. I repeat. That old man does not. What could help is a new trailer with more close-ups of the actors faces- you know, give us real moments and a few pieces of compelling dialogue so we can connect. Right now we're looking at too many wide shots scenes and it's making us (well me) feel like we're on the outside looking in (then again-- don't read too much into that oxymoron). Give us a trailer with more poignant moments, cut out about half the scenes and tell us what the story actually is and I think you'll capture the right kind of interest and questions. Good luck and look forward to seeing the next trailer because I love Chiwetel Ejiofor, just not as that old man.

  • etomi | December 29, 2011 1:49 PMReply

    OOPS! Meant to post this too.

    http://rantingspoo.blogspot.com/2011/06/savannah-new-movie-interview-with-jim.html

  • ETOMI | December 29, 2011 1:48 PMReply

    IMBD says it's in post production awaiting 2012 release. (12-21-12) rofl Ejiofor's next film is another slavery era piece depicting Solomon Northrup. I consider this man a great actor. If you have any question about that, look at the direct to DVD "Slow Burn". His characterization is frikkin genius!
    I dunno but it seems like the American mainstream film industry doesn't know what to do with black actors/actresses. Are our only stories those of antebellum times or gritty-urban dramas? Or Tyler Perry films? Or the vision of white writers?

    The indies seem to be doing a better job of showing a more diverse look at the lives of black folk. That's where my money is going.

  • Akimbo | December 29, 2011 1:32 PMReply

    What a cast. Seeing as how the trailer was just a series of shots, there's nothing to blame them for; there was no acting shown at all. The problem with the trailer is that it's just a slideshow and tells you absolutely NOTHING about the story. It's relying on this terrible interpretation of "Wade in the Water" to connote memories of the south and American slavery, but that's just not enough. But seriously, whoever's singing this song sounds like they're mocking the mentally impaired.

  • Pat Smalls | December 29, 2011 1:27 PMReply

    Lol. Is that the old man from the Madea movies? Pass.

  • jacinta | December 29, 2011 1:14 PMReply

    what's wrong with it apart from the poor soundtrack?????????????????? cinematography and production design looks pretty decent to me.

  • Cameron D. | December 29, 2011 1:47 PM

    This reminds me of the Jennifer Hudson "Winnie Mandela" movie that's never coming out. The makeup in that one was bad, too. A bad-enough makeup job will ruin any movie. They made Chiwetel look like the old man from The House of Dies Drear.

  • Akimbo | December 29, 2011 1:38 PM

    Agreed on Chiwetel's makeu-up; looks more Freddy Kreuger than Danny Glover (or insert old black actor here).

  • Tiorrie | December 29, 2011 1:24 PM

    The makeup on Chiwetel is horrendous. It looks like a TV movie from the early 90's.

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