Feature film adaptation of ‘Black’ comic book in works at Warner Bros.

Studio 8 announced that Warner Bros. has greenlit Black, a feature adaptation of the Black Mask comic series from co-creators Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3. The comic is set in a universe where only Black people have superpowers.

Osajyefo has worked for both Marvel and DC, and wanted to create something that spoke to the demographic of Black comic book readers. He had the idea for a world in which only black people had superpowers. The comic was funded through a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $90,000 and the first issue was released in 2017. Since then, five more issues have been released.

Speaking about the comic and the adaptation, Osajyefo said, “Part of the inspiration for Black came from my experiencing the lack of representation in comics publishing and how that directly relates to the scarceness of black characters. For most of comics’ history, white outcasts have been used as allegories for marginalized groups while claiming to reflect the world outside our window. Black strips away this veneer to juxtapose superpowers with race while allowing black people to see ourselves authentically in media and inviting wider audiences into parts of our experience. We’re excited to bring this story to everyone through film, and thankful to Studio 8 for believing in it.”

Bryan Edward Hill, a producer on DC’s Titans, has written the script. Jeff Robinov, Guy Danella, and John Graham will produce from Studio 8 with Black Mask Studio’s Matteo Pizzolo and Brett Gurewitz to serve as producer and executive producer. Osajyefo and Smith are co-producers as well. The studio is on the lookout for a director.

“We became involved in the development of this story over a year ago,” explained Robinov. “Black represents a new generation of storytellers and creators who can accurately tell black stories with the type of care the industry has lacked for decades. The thought-provoking concept caught our attention early on, and we’re proud to play a role in bringing this story to the screen.”

Given the current scenario of the world with conversations about violence against people of colour and the lack of racial diversity, the adaptation couldn’t have come at a better time.