2017 American Black Film Festival
Getty Images

Amazon & Will Packer Reportedly Working On Post–Civil War Alternate History Series

This should be interesting.

Shortly after HBO announced its plans to develop Confederate — a post-Civil War series which depicts what would have happened if the South had successfully seceded and slavery was still thriving — Amazon has reportedly also jumped on the bandwagon. The streaming service has announced that it is coming out with its own alternate history series, titled Black America.

The show, which has been in the works for more than a year, is reportedly in a “very very active development” stage, according to Deadline. Black America will reportedly explore what America would be like today if freed slaves had been given the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama as reparations after the Civil War. The show will reportedly be set in the fictional utopia of New Colonia, which Will Packer, the show’s producer, said was “intriguing” to create. “It was something that was personally intriguing for me as a black American. You would be hard-pressed to find many black Americans who have not thought about the concept of reparation — what would happen if reparations were actually given,” said Packer. Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder also will be contributing to the series.

The plot is somewhat similar to the HBO series in the works, but the difference with Amazon’s program is that an all-black creative team is leading the narrative, Deadline reports. Additionally, the Girls Trip producer insisted Black America will not fuel the legacy of slavery, unlike its competing series. “The fact that there is the contemplation of contemporary slavery makes it something that I would not be a part of producing or consuming,” he told Deadline. “Slavery is far too real and far too painful, and we still see the manifestations of it today as a country, for me to ever view that as a form of entertainment.”

Soon after news of the HBO show was revealed, many critics hopped on Twitter to express their disappointment with the alternate narrative. Although there are many similarities and coincidences between the two, Packer said Black America was not created in response to ConfederateBlack America has not been given an official premiere date as of yet. We'll just have to wait and see how history rewrites itself.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

The Game Reboot Lands At Paramount+ Streaming Service

A revival of the BET’s The Game is officially in development under the ViacomCBS digital subscription streaming service Paramount+, which was originally branded as CBS All Access.

The series reboot was announced on Tuesday (Sept. 15), along with a list of original and rebooted shows headed for the streaming outlet which includes a limited series chronicling the making of The Godfather, a new edition of VH1’s Behind the Music, and the true crime docuseries, The Real Criminal Minds. The programming will join CBS All Access’ list of more than 20,000 episodes and movies across BET, MTV, CBS, Comedy Central, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, and more.

Although no details have been released about The Game revival, the series will fall under BET’s Paramount+ programming from CBS Television Studios and Garment Productions. It’s unclear if any of the show's original cast members like, Tia Mowry, Pooch Hall, and Wendy Raquel Robinson, will be involved in the new installment.

The hit sports series was created by Mara Brock Akil, as a spinoff of her other hit sitcom, Girlfriends. Akil recently inked an overall deal with Netflix to develop new projects for the streamer. The company also acquired the rights to Girlfriends, Sister, Sister, Moesha, and The Parkers.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

50 Cent Developing Starz Series About Beef With The Game

Add a couple more credits to 50 Cent’s long list of TV projects. The rapper-turned-TV-producer inked a deal to develop two new series for Starz, one of which will explore his feud with The Game, the cable network announced on Monday (Sept. 14).

The seasonal anthology series tentatively titled, Moment in Time: The Massacre, chronicles “true stories in which iconic hip hop moments collided with the sensational and sometimes criminal events behind the scenes.” Season one focuses on the beef between Fif and Game that “led to an all-street war, pitting G-Unit against music impresario Jimmy Henchman.”

Henchman, The Game’s former manager, is currently serving life for the murder-for-hire of a G-Unit affiliate. Moment in Time will be written and executive produced by Abdul William, who penned The Bobby Brown Story, The New Edition Story, Lottery Ticket, and Lifetime’s forthcoming Salt-N-Pepa mini series.

Inspired by the life of sports agent and attorney Nicole Lynn, who serves as executive producer, the second series follows a Black female sports agent’s rise up the ranks in the male dominated industry of sports agents. Tash Grey will produce the series and pen the script. Grey’s notable credits include the Power spinoff Raising Kanan, Snowfall, P-Valley, and the true-crime drama, Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G.

Both series will be executive produced by 50 Cent and his G-Unit Film & Television imprint.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Netflix Acquires ‘Malcolm & Marie’ Starring Zendaya, John David Washington

Netflix has acquired the rights to the film Malcolm & Marie staring Zendaya and John David Washington in a $30 million deal during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The streaming giant beat out HBO, Amazon, Searchlight, Apple and MGM among others in a bidding war over the film, Deadline reports.

Shot on 35mm black and white film, Malcolm & Marie, tells the story of a filmmaker (portrayed by Washington) who returns home with his girlfriend after a celebrating the premiere of his latest movie. Things take a turn as revelations about the couple’s relationship rise to the surface, changing the mood of the evening.

Malcolm & Marie pic.twitter.com/99RWzgLFbD

— Zendaya (@Zendaya) July 8, 2020

Malcolm & Marie was written, directed and produced by Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, who penned the script in less than a week. Aside from starring in the romantic drama, Zendaya and Washington serve as executive producers on the project.

“I am so grateful to this cast and crew, many of whom are my ‘Euphoria’ family, for coming together during such uncertain times,” Levinson said in a statement. “We felt privileged to be able to make this film together and we did so with a lot of love. We are all thrilled that it has ended up with Netflix which is unparalleled in allowing filmmakers the freedom to tell their stories that reach audiences all over the world.”

The film was shot amid the COVID-19 pandemic at a quarantine location in California in mid-June. Over the course of the two week shoot, heavy precautions were taken to ensure the health and safety of the cast and crew including social distancing, increased sanitary measures, and daily temperature checks.

Netflix’s acquisition of Malcolm & Marie follows an onslaught of TIFF films scooped up by  the company, with Halle Berry’s Bruised among the lot. The film marks Berry’s directorial debut and was sold to Netflix for a reported $20 million.

Continue Reading

Top Stories