Tag Archives: hollywood

Hollywood Hates Chris?

Written by: Graeme Wood
18.12.14

 

chris-rock2Comedian Chris Rock has never been shy of controversy and his recent appearances have certainly proved it, during an interview on the Late Show this month he brought up choke holds and did a ‘Hands Up Don’t Shoot’ gesture when fellow guest Sting appeared, quipping that he was afraid of ‘the Police’.

He then chipped in with the WWE have better standards than the NYPD because of their ban on choke holds before adding ‘no better way to calm down angry Black people than British royalty!”, referring to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s timely visit to New York.

The comedian was being interviewed to promote his new movie Top Five but has also been making headlines following his thoughtful essay printed in December’s Hollywood Reporter. In the essay"Top Five" New York Premiere Rock looks back on his career within Hollywood, the future of the industry and comments on L.A.’s race problems.

Rock recalls how he was invited into the movie Beverly Hill Cop II by Eddie Murphy after Murphy had seen his stand-up routine. Rock went onto to stress how he had attempted to pay it back “I try to help young black guys coming up because those people took chances on me. Eddie didn’t have to put me in Beverly Hills Cop!

Keenen Ivory Wayans didn’t have to put me in I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. I’d do the same for a young white guy, but here’s the difference; someone’s gonna help the white guy. Multiple people will. The people whom I’ve tried to help, I’m not sure anybody was going to help them.” Rock mentions how he recommended Saturday Night Lives’ Leslie Jones to several big name managers before SNL’s Lorne Michael brought her onto the show.

“It’s a white industry,” Rock wrote. “Just as the NBA is a black industry. I’m not even saying it’s a bad thing. It just is”. In what reads as a thoughtful, critical deconstruction on the Hollywood system Rock gives his views on how difficult it can be for Black actresses to break into the industry and springs to the defence of Mexicans living in L.A.;

“Forget whether Hollywood is black enough. A better question is; Is Hollywood Mexican enough? You’re in L.A. you’ve got to try not to hire Mexicans. It’s the most liberal town in the world, and there’s Rock2a part of it that’s kind of racist – not racist like “F—you, nigger” racist, but just an acceptance that there’s a slave state in L.A. There’s this acceptance that Mexicans are gong to take care of white people in L.A. that doesn’t exist anywhere else. You’re telling me no Mexicans are qualified to do anything at a studio? Really? Nothing but mop up? What are the odds that’s true?”

Rock however, was optimistic for the industry’s future; “there are black guys who are making it: Whatever Kevin Hart wants to do right now, he can do; I think Chiwetel Ejiofor is a really respected actor who is getting a lot of great shots just because he’s really good; if Steve McQueen wants to direct a Marvel movie, they would salivate to get him. Change just takes time”.

Rock’s assertion that Hollywood is a white industry could be seen as a provocative but correct conclusion given that Black films account for a tiny fraction of the big studio’s output. Budgets tend to be small, and distribution is limited largely to domestic theatres.

There is room for debate however as a Bloomberg Businessweek report recently concluded that in each year between 1990 to 2009, at least five African-American films were among the 100 biggest moneymakers in the US and Canada. Comedy remains an important genre at the Black box office with December alone showing seven African-American films ranked among the top 100 so far this year grossing nearly a quarter-billion dollars in the domestic market. According to a report from the Motion Picture Association of America, the demand for African-American film makes financial sense, drawing support from increasingly diverse audiences as well as the sizeable proportion of African-Americans in the U.S. movie-going population. Blacks account for about 13 percent of the domestic film audiences, and the average black person sees about four films in theatres a year.

But Rock asserts; “I really don’t think there’s any difference between what black audiences find funny and what white audiences find funny but everyone likes to see themselves on-screen, so there are some instances where there’s a black audience laughing at something that a white audience wouldn’t laugh at because a black audience is really just happy to see itself”. “Now, not only are black movies making money, they’re expected to make money – and they’re expected to make money on the same scale as everything else.”

Rock’s movie Top Five which he wrote and directed was made outside of the big ‘studio system’ because, Rock says, of how the industry views ‘Black movies’. The film co-stars Rosario Dawson, top fiveKevin Hart, Whoopi Goldberg, Cedric the Entertainer, Gabrielle Union and Tracy Morgan. Rock plays Andre Allen, a famous comedic actor trying in vain to create interest in his new film, “Uprize”, an earnest, misbegotten epic about the Haitian Revolution. The film digs under the surface of show business, politics, rap and the exigencies of being black and famous in today’s world. The movie opened in the US in December to rave reviews and comparisons with Woody Allen’s best work.

“Top Five” arose from a quiet beginning, Rock didn’t tell many people he was writing it and he shot it independent of any studio, while the cast was augmented by comedians he considers to be friends. The movie had its première at the Toronto International Film Festival last September where it inspired a standing ovation and an auction for the distribution rights which were won by Paramount for a reported 12 ½ million dollars!

The film is due to open in the UK in March 2015 and we are currently talking to the distributor; so hopefully Kush Promotions will be working on the PR/Marketing campaign for the film.

Stay tuned to www.kushfilms.com for further news.

Read Chris Rock’s full essay on the state of Hollywood in the Hollywood Reporter here; http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/top-five-filmmaker-chris-rock-753223

Read Entertainment Weekly’s Review of Top Five here;
http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0%2c%2c20881400%2c00.html?hootPostID=220aaedf8e8bfc75a3a4dd76760c8b0c

The whitewashed cast of ‘Exodus’ is irresponsible — Another 2014 Movie Once Again Changing History

 

We at Kushfilms.com have been just so annoyed and once again disappointed with Hollywood with their racists discriminatory filmmaking  and in the case of the film ‘Exodus’ the director Ridley Scott and sadly Christian Bale (one of our favourite British actors); that we really didn’t want to give this film any type of exposure at all – Nada – absolutely nothing!

We do also realise the danger of continuing to let Hollywood make these type of films as they have done since the creation of Hollywood without there been a wave of negative feedback and a call to not support box office sales of racists misleading history changing film-crap like Exodus.

But after already speaking out about films like; Noah & Lucy all made this year in 2014, which also blots out the African genesis of mankind from genuine world history, we just felt we shouldn’t give Exodus any type of exposure at all, hoping it will in a counter-intuitive manner help the film to attract low box office sales.

Sadly with all that has been happening recently; Sony Pictures executives personal emails exposed, their producers slagging off black stars like Kevin Hart and doubting the international box-office appeal of Denzil Washington, the lack of diversity here in the UK and the US in both television and film, black films and actors not been given fair opportunity to shine as with the recent UK semi-partial bogus release of the British urban film Montana and not to mention the ever increasingly worrying racial separation currently happening in the United States facilitated by the deaths of numerous young black men and now two New York police officers in a supposed revenge killing.

I have to wonder if there is some kind of agenda by forces unseen to undermine and in some cases to exterminate globally the progress of black people – Yes now in 2014!
Marlon Palmer (Director)
Kush Films

 

Taken from Mashable.com
Written by Yohana Desta
11.12.14

We just love this straight-talking professional article on the film Exodus written by Yohana Desta of mashable.com that we just had to reprint it here for you our readers.

Please feel free to give us some feedback – send comments to: info@kushfilms.com

What a shame — Exodus: Gods and Kings could have been epic.

exodus-05

Starring Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton and Sigourney Weaver, the new Ridley Scott film has already garnered controversy for casting white actors as ancient Egyptians. Some have called for a boycott, but the Academy Award-nominated director has kept fairly quiet on the criticism — until a recent interview with Variety.

Scott explained:
“I can’t mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such,” Scott says. “I’m just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn’t even come up.”

There’s a lot to unpack, but it’s worth noting that Scott’s position is not entirely without merit — filmmakers, even those working with major studios, have an incredibly difficult time funding movies. As the industry becomes more reliant on revenue from foreign countries, where top stars are still a critical draw, you need big names on the marquee to get a green light. Period.

However, that doesn’t excuse films from making the same irresponsible casting decisions over and over. While movies are still an art form, filmmakers are increasingly held accountable for working within a system that egregiously ignores minorities. Half of all contemporary films still fail the Bechdel test, despite its growing influence as a measure of gender bias. Ironically, studies show that films with a more diverse cast earn more revenue.

Sure, Exodus is just a movie — but its message surfaces social issues that do more harm than good.

As someone who has seen this film, I can attest to its aggravatingly backward casting. Not only is the main cast aggressively whitewashed, but the decision to degrade actors with dark skin was an utter distraction. Scott’s need to get a movie star may become the film’s own Achilles heel.

What Ridley Scott gets wrong.

bale-scott-edgerton

Christian Bale, Ridley Scott and Joel Edgerton – Image: Andy Kropa /Invision/AP/Associated Press

An expensive film has to recoup its budget and race to the top of the box office. Exodus: Gods and Kings is an expensive movie. With an estimated $140 million budget, it makes sense why Scott feels pressure to deliver on the film’s promise. However, that is where all forgiveness of Scott’s racist Biblical epic ends.

The uproar against this film has been dragging on for months on end, initially because of the film’s cast list. The movie stars carrying this film — Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton (if he can be called a “star” yet), Sigourney Weaver and Aaron Paul — are all white, as are most of the male supporting cast with speaking roles (save for Ben Kingsley, who is half-Indian).

In contrast, aside from Weaver, most of the main actresses with speaking roles — Hiam Abbass, Maria Valverde, Golshifteh Farahani and Indira Varma, mainly — are non-white, which might be the film’s only saving grace in terms of racial casting. But let’s go back to Scott’s Variety quote.

His reasoning deliberately places the blame elsewhere, as though it’s completely out of his hands. In the grand scheme of things, what he’s doing in this film is not different from many other Hollywood films — one need only go back as far as Noah to find a jarringly all-white cast in a biblical epic. Exodus carries on the grand tradition of white actors playing…well, everything. Native Americans. Asians. Other Ancient Egyptian people. However, tradition does not make this film’s actions inexcusable.

Now, this may be the point where you ask: But isn’t the exact skin color of the ancient Egyptians up for debate anyway? Thanks to the Nile River, ancient Egypt was a blend of many outside cultures. However, as Penn State University anthropology professor Nina Jablonski pointed out, it is safe to surmise that they likely had tan skin, as depicted in ancient artwork of Egyptian royalty.

Egyptian art
Jablonski also wrote in her book Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color: “In ancient Egypt as a whole, people were not designated by color terms, and slavery was not associated with darker skin.”

If you couldn’t tell from my author photo, I’m a dark-skinned black woman. And if you couldn’t tell from my name, I’m of East African descent. When I watched Exodus: Gods and Kings in an early press screening,

joel_ramsesI saw things a little differently than the 18-35-year-old white men Scott’s film is no doubt trying to reach.

When the initial casting for the film ignited uproar, it was because dark-skinned actors were cast as servants, soldiers, assassins — you get the idea. Going into this film, I remained open-minded — perhaps Scott had been unfairly vilified in the film’s early reports. Instead, I was slapped in the face with racist imagery.

— Jaime (@jaimichnew) December 5, 2014

Within the first few minutes of the film, two black actors are shown, but they’re merely servants to the high priestess (played by Varma). The next few times you see dark-skinned people, it’s essentially the same — they’re the ever-present bodyguards of Ramses, the wicked assassin sent to kill Moses. They’re servants who flit in and out of rooms. Dark-skinned people in this film are treated like furniture, scattered in the background like props. They are mute (I can count on one hand how many times a dark-skinned actor speaks, and that’s being generous). It’s a visual representation of the statistic that only 25.9% of speaking characters in 600 films from 2007-2010 and 2012-2013 were minorities. And this is a movie set in Africa. Perhaps the most disturbing part of this film’s imagery — and let’s be clear, this is a popcorn flick for your eyes, not your brain — is that it may as well have been set in the Antebellum South. The brutally callous way with which black actors are relegated wordlessly to the background and white actors in the foreground was incredibly uncomfortable and so distracting I was aghast Scott got away with it. Once I noticed the disturbing trend, I decided to tally in my notebook how many times I saw a prominently featured dark-skinned actor stand in a scene without speaking. By the end of the film, I had 40 marks in my notebook. That’s 40 opportunities to give a black actor a voice. Forty chances to let a dark-skinned person rise above the subservient role he or she has been given. Forty times Scott did not realize how gruesomely ignorant his film had become.

What should have happened.

Christian Bale in a scene from 'Exodus: Gods and Kings.'

Christian Bale in a scene from ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings.’


Dark-skinned people in this film are treated like furniture, scattered in the background like props.

 

 

In a recent interview, Christian Bale defended Scott’s casting choices, spinning them as opportunities to spotlight lesser-known minority actors. “…We should all look at ourselves and say, ‘Are we supporting wonderful actors in films by North African and Middle Eastern film-makers and actors?’ Because there are some fantastic actors out there,” he says. “If people start supporting those films more and more, then financiers in the market will follow…To me, that would be a day of celebration.” Bale’s comments are the closest thing to a mea culpa offended viewers are going to get. In the same interview;

Scott told the film’s boycotters to “Get a life.”

Bale has a great point — films from those regions deserve attention. However, the Hollywood system, in which Bale is an active participant, largely ignores minorities. A 2011 UCLA study showed that only 10.5% of films starred minorities. Therein lies another problem. There are minority actors who could carry Exodus. If Scott was so determined to secure Bale, fine — but why horribly whitewash the rest? Revered actors like Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor or Djimon Hounsou all possess at least as much gravitas and popularity as Edgerton. An actress like Angela Bassett or Viola Davis could have have tackled Weaver’s surprisingly small role with gusto. (Weaver may be Scott’s golden girl, but her presence was one of the most distracting of all.)

Sigourney Weaver in 'Exodus: Gods and Kings.'

Sigourney Weaver in ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings.’

Scott’s movie star tactics also haven’t helped reviews. Exodus currently holds a 43% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Its real star is the special effects. That $140 million budget was put to good use, particularly with well-orchestrated battle scenes and visually stunning plagues of, well, Biblical proportions. For that reason alone, millions of people will see this film. However, tracking indicates it might make around $29 million opening weekend, which is enough to secure a top spot, but shaky for a film with that kind of budget. Global audiences might eat up its massive scale, and see it because it carries the name of the director who brought us Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator. And yet, I am not entertained.

Aside from Bale, Edgerton also spoke about the film’s casting controversy in an interview with IGN. Though he admits to not keeping up with all the criticism, he wants people to get the film’s true message: “It has one of the most important resonant messages that we really face as a human race, which is: On an ethical standpoint the ideal is that we treat each other with equality, as this story shows the struggle that ensues when one race subjugates another.

” How ironic that this film stands for just the opposite.

‘Selma’ Director Ava DuVernay Calls Racist Sony Emails ‘Sad, Limited, Crass’

Taken from The Huffington Post (Black Voices)
Written By Christopher Rosen
15.12.14

 

AVA-DUVERNAY

In a new interview with The Daily Beast, “Selma” director Ava DuVernay has called leaked emails between Sony co-chair Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin that mocked the film taste of President Barack Obama “sad, limited, crass.”

DuVernay said she found out about the emails shortly after becoming the first black woman ever nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globes.

“I thought it was a great gift to me to be reminded of that kind of sad, limited, crass view of the work that people do in this industry who are not from the dominant culture,” she said. “It was a gift to me to be reminded on that in that moment when there were a lot of shining lights on me and hoopla around the Globes. It was sobering, and it provided a moment of clarity that I’m thankful for as I move forward.”

In the emails, Rudin and Pascal joked about the kinds of movies President Obama might enjoy. “I bet he likes Kevin Hart,” Rudin wrote.

“I made a series of remarks that were meant only to be funny, but in the cold light of day, they are in fact thoughtless and insensitive,” Rudin said in a statement to Deadline.com. Pascal also apologized for the remarks.

This wasn’t the first time DuVernay spoke out about the emails. In a short interview with Variety last Thursday, the director said she had two words to pass along as commentary: “sickening and sad.” On Friday, during an interview with The Washington Post, DuVernay also called the emails a “gift.”

She explained:
Something about reading that on the day of these nominations, getting off the stage with John Lewis, the standing ovations, all these things that have been happening, to get back and say, Okay, this is what some folks really think. […] [It] was empowering to me, got me really clear, got me really focused. So I’m grateful.

DuVernay is among many people to comment on the emails in the wake of the hack.

“What is most troubling about these statements is that they reflect a continued lack of diversity in positions of power in major Hollywood studios. The statements clearly show how comfortable major studio powers are with racial language and marginalization,” Al Sharpton said in a statement.

“Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes weighed in on the notes via her Twitter account:

Speaking to CNN, Oprah Winfrey offered another take on the leaks. “I would hope that we would not stand in such harsh judgment of a moment in time where someone was hacked and their private conversations were put before the world,” Winfrey said.

Producer, director and actor Tyler Perry echoed Winfrey’s statements in a separate interview with CNN.

“I think we all make stupid mistakes, and may say stupid things or a joke here or there, but unfortunately this all came back to haunt [Amy Pascal],” Perry said. “But I do not believe she is a racist.”

 

Sony Pictures Wallows In Their Own Mire!

logo-of-sony-corp

Sony Pictures internal systems hacked by an unknown group of hackers called “GOP” the FBI says are affiliated with the North Korea government, unhappy about the new Seth Rogan comedy film “The Interview”  which in a mock CIA assassination attempt ridicules their leader Kim Jong-un .

Seth-and-Amy

Seth Rogan & Amy Pascal

Wow; what a terrible last two weeks it has been for multi-conglomerate film distributor Sony Pictures Entertainment!

Cyber-terrorism, internal email system hacked, revealing financial information, high-profile star payments, employee’s private details and email communications all released to the world and then on top of all that new film release ‘The Interview’ pulled from theatrical release after national security threats from hackers GOP (Guardians of Peace) supposedly based in rogue totalitarian country North Korea.

As we now know big boss and co-chairwoman Amy Pascal and fellow super-producer Scott Rudlin also regularly sent each emails which can be considered racially insensitive, others where they appeared to mock the taste of none other than the president of America or slandered the standards of high-profile actors like Angela Jolie, Denzil Washington & rising comedic star Kevin Hart amongst others.

Scott-Rubin-Amy-Pascal

Scott Rubin & Amy Pascal

KevinHart

Kevin Hart

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sony was last week forced to pull the release of the “The Interview” from cinemas, as more and more cinemas said they would not take the risk and show the film due to threats from GOP to take action (including bomb threats) against any cinema showing the film.

This has all lead to a big furore about filmmakers and ‘creative freedoms’ and Sony Pictures giving in too easy against the GOP cyber-terrorists especially with the government saying there was no real credible threat. For a full view of The Sony hack, exposure of their personal emails and accusations of racism and the President Obama & FBI agency government threat response see the links below – you will also find various other pages here on www.kushfilms.com featuring interesting news relating to African-American stars caught up in Sony Gate.

Kush Promotions & PR Past Dealings With Sony
We ourselves as a leading film Exhibitor & PR/Marketing company working in this industry for 16 years know to well what lies behind the veil of illusion manufactured by multi-conglomerate film distributors under the guise of Hollywood.  We ourselves over the years have encountered many issues of ignorance and the closed doors of a institutionally racist UK film industry.

We also had a serious falling out with Sony Pictures right here in the UK; this happened a few years ago when Kush Promotions & PR CEO Marlon Palmer was asked to support the marketing of theMarlonPalmer2012_Headshot film ‘Step UP 2’ by the then marketing manager (her name is absolutely not worth mentioning – she matters not now!).

This marketing manager asked Marlon Palmer to come up with a concept to promote the film. An idea was developed by Marlon which involved elements of a national dance finals event, but soon thereafter the marketing manager was influenced by Sony Pictures main regular PR company who appeared to be envious of Kush’s involvement. The marketing manager head was turned and she decided to jump into bed with an alternative street dance promoter who was doing his own thing and running his own already established dance competition event. What they didn’t know was that Marlon Palmer had already made contact with this promoter through his research work for the job and was in communication with the promoter. After the marketing manger went ahead and agreed a deal with this new promoter she then in a bear-faced and unprofessional manner completely denied that she had ever engaged Kush (Marlon Palmer) in any work – even though there was plenty of email evidence that she had & there was obviously the actual work that had been already been carried out.

This all ensued into a serious argument where court action was threatened after it was clear this woman would lie,lie & lie even more!

In the end Marlon Palmer decided to walk away as the whole thing became very negative and counter-productive and it would have been too financially costly to take Sony to court and the only other alternative was to turn Schwarzenegger, go down to their offices to confront her and kick the hell out everyone who got in the way, as recently described by Marlon Palmer he honestly felt this way as he had worked hard over many years to get Kush Promotions into the position it was in at that time and he was definitely not used to people taking mind-boggling liberties like that but in the end he thought better of his course of action!

The simple fact of the matter is right now; Kush has no animosity towards Sony (well, may be with “The Liar” if she was to be met somewhere, especially on a cold dark night, LOL!), what actually happened was the great catalyst for Marlon Palmer to go away, re-think life in general and create the path to conquer what he saw as the institutionally racist UK film industry at that time & hey-presto here we are today with Kush as the NO 1 Marketing & PR specialist of black (‘urban’) films in the UK and the go-to-company for most UK distributors for the marketing & PR of so many major black film releases here in the UK.

Its funny how life works out eh!

Sometimes in life its the negative things that happen that teaches you how to deal with aspects of life and helps you to clearly see your path forward. Kush says: Thank you “Liar, Liar” the lesson was appreciated!

Here are some links to some of the recent catastrophic Sony Pictures happenings taking place in America.

Sony Pictures’ Amy Pascal and Scot Rudlin’s Racist emails…
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2869917/I-bet-Obama-likes-Kevin-Hart-Sony-Pictures-chair-Amy-Pascal-producer-Scott-Rudin-s-racist-email-exchange-President-revealed-latest-hacking-leak.html

Sony Hack: Carmike Cinemas Drops ‘The Interview:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sony-hack-carmike-cinemas-drops-758444

The Hollywood Reporter: Sony Hack (a collection of their articles)
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/topic/sony-hack

Kevin Hart Responds To Slam In Sony Email Leak
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/11/kevin-hart-sony-hack_n_6311400.html

Leaked Sony Email Challenges Denzel Washington’s Overseas Box Office Appeal
http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving-leaked-sony-email-challenges-denzel-washingtons-overseas-box-office-appeal-20141217

Sony Hack Fallout Includes Unraveling of Relationships in Hollywood
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/19/business/media/sony-attack-is-unraveling-relationships-in-hollywood.html?_r=0

Chadwick Boseman Rising Star

By Leslie Byron Pitt
25.11.14

 

chadwick_boseman

Chadwick Boseman already has two iconic African-American parts under his belt and with his upcoming role as Black Panther in the upcoming Marvel features; Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther, Boseman looks set to become one of his generations top African-American leading men.

The talented Boseman was born in 1977, in Anderson, South Carolina to Nurse Carolyn, and furniture businessman Leroy Boseman. A graduate of T.L Hanna High School in 1995, Boseman later graduated from Howard University in Washington D.C with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in directing, before attending the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, England.

Before embarking on a television career, Boseman worked as a stage actor, performing in a number of stage productions as well as writing and directing his own work. One of his most notable stage roles is the 2002 play Urban Transitions: Loose Blossoms. Written by Ron Milner, Urban Transitions is an edgy drama in which the fast and loose income from drug running, slowly inflects a newly suburban African American family. His performance earned him an award from AUDELCO, a committee which strives to stimulate interest and support in performing arts within black communities. From a writing point of view, his most notable work, was his third play, Deep Azure, a hip-hop theatre production, in which a black, anorexic woman’s fiancé is shot by a black police officer. The play, which is loosely based on an actual shooting was nominated for a Jeff Award in 2006.

It was 2003 in which Boseman gained his break on television with a variety of TV episodes, including Third Watch, ER and Law and Order. Around this time, as well as starring film shorts, Boseman made sure to keep hold of his behind the scene passions. He wrote and directed the 18 minute short Blood over a Broken Pawn (2008), which deals with a traumatized coffee shop owner stumbling into a dangerous situation with a chess master after an altercation with an innocent child.

From 2008 Boseman found himself in more prominent roles, including considerable appearances in the taut mini-series Persons Unknown, created by Usual Suspects writer Christopher McQuarrie, and Drama series Lincoln Heights, in which he plays injured Iraq War veteran, Nate. The shadow of war also followed Boseman in a leading role as a troubled veteran alongside Troy Kittles (Olympus has Fallen) in 2012’s The Kill Hole. During this time, Boseman found himself in episodes of hit shows such as Fringe, Justified and Castle.

In 2013 Boseman made the jump into movies, performing as one of Baseball’s most famous stars; Jackie Robinson, in the biographical feature 42. The film, written by Academy Award winner; Brian chadwickbosemanHelgeland became the best premiere for a Baseball film in Hollywood History with a $27.3 million opening weekend. Despite only being released theatrically in the U.S and Canada, the film grossed a total of $95 Million and surpassed its $40 Million budget. 42 has been well received by audiences and critics alike, with Boseman’s performance has the stoic, yet heroic Robinson garnered high praise. 42 gained high praise when it was endorsed by the first lady, Michelle Obama at a screening and film workshop, which Boseman also took part in, at the White House. Mrs Obama was quoted to have said that “We believe everybody needs to see this movie.” the kind of praise that many hope more black movies will achieve in the future.

In 2014 Boseman has turned that praise into Oscar Buzz with his most electrifying performance to date. Get On Up; the celebratory biopic of James Brown, has had nothing but superlatives placed on the 37 year old’s performance as Brown. John Patterson (Guardian) described the display as chadwick-boseman-as-james-brown“volcanic”, while Tim Robey (Daily Telegraph) states that the performance holds a “wicked attitude”. In my own review of the film for kushfilms.com: I considered Boseman’s poise and understanding of Brown as a persona is just too strong to ignore. It’s a performance is so powerful that you can see the cast running off the energy it creates.

In an article for the Guardian, it had been stated that there was pressure on the director; Tate Taylor, to place a rapper in the main role. Such a cynical commercial ploy was quickly nixed by Taylor, who could only see Boseman in the part, based on a hunch. Boseman himself considered the role to be too big a role for an up and coming actor, and almost dismissed it based on the fact he had just played Jackie Robinson. To find out that after accepting the role, Bosemon had only 6 weeks to learn the various moves of Brown before principal photography, only makes the performance even more impressive.

The part of Brown has generated a healthy amount of Oscar buzz for the young actor, but it’s his next role, that should help take him into the upper echelons of Hollywood’s movers and shakers. It has been recently announced in October, that Boseman has signed a five movie deal with Marvel to chadwick_boseman_black_pantplay Black Panther in his own feature film, and including a supporting role in Captain America 3: Civil War. The role marks a significant movement for the Marvel studio diversifying their movies towards other markets. Comic fans may know more about Panther than many of the laymen who paid their money to see The Avengers, but many felt the same about Ironman in 2008. Boseman has shown the ability to take a larger than life character and ran with it and the match-up could be a landmark point in the current successful comic book cycle.

The future does indeed look radiant with this handsome, young talent. Boseman’s upcoming prospects may allow him not only climb the Hollywood mountain as an actor, but possibly allow him to propose further projects with his name at the writing/directional helm. While such a statement can currently only be raised as an assumption, I must admit that the future of African American Film is sparkling a little brighter.