The big news today coming out of Sundance is that Nate Parker‘s film Birth of A Nation has been bought by Fox Searchlight for $17.5 million. Parker wrote, stars, and directs the film. There is some strong buzz coming from screenings and the film getting picked-up by Searchlight is a huge testament to the film’s potential.
We’ve been a big fan of Nate’s acting for years having championing him to land franchise roles like Black Panther and Green Lantern. Some people are already suggesting that Warner Bros. lock him up to make Green Lantern Corps. or Cyborg. Although, if Fox is supporting his film giving it a bigger distribution rollout, he might want to see what they have to offer in the way of tentpoles.
I know a lot of people are saying he should automatically jump on board to a project with black superhero, but that doesn’t have to be the case even though his perspective could help those projects. Fox’s X-Men franchise is about to expand in all sorts of ways, much more solo films and even new teams are getting their own films. I do feel the X-Men films could be a lot more diverse in casting and representation, Fox has yet to hire a black actor to tackle their X-Men films. Even though Tim Story made the first two Fantastic Four movies, it seems odd since the comics were influenced by the real racial tensions and the civil rights movement from the 1960’s, I find it odd that a black director has never helmed a movie.
One X-Men film in development that needs a huge overhaul is X-Force. Jeff Wadlow’s script apparently has been made useless according to the team’s creator Rob Liefeld, because X-Men: Apocalypse made it pointless. Birth of A Nation is said to be a darker/violent film focusing on slavery, which could help give a stronger serious tone to an X-Force film that we’d expect. We also don’t expect to really have Wadlow return, mainly, because they could get a fresher voice to tackle the film’s extensive rewrites.
We know that Fox originally envisioned the film as a launching platform for Cable, but we might see him in the Deadpool sequel first. The lineup of Wadlow’s script apparently included Cable, Domino, Warpath, Cannonball, and possibly Feral. They wouldn’t need to just focus on five characters, because of the multiple lineups over the years, they could include someone like fan-favorites like X-23 and Olivia Munn’s Psylocke.
X-Force lineup is just as big as the X-Men, because it incorporated X-Men, New Mutants (Josh Boone currently developing that film), and the yet to be used team Wild Pack/Six Pack. Basically, they could use obscure and unused mutants and nobody would blink an eye. This could be Fox’s Suicide Squad if they felt the need to push the envelope like they did with Deadpool.
I’m hearing that the studio wants to expand the X-Men releases to follow in the footsteps with Marvel, Warner Bros., and Lucasfilm. X-Force needs to become a priority again, because it could help launch even more spin-off projects.
Parker will likely get all sorts of offers in the next year or so, but 20th Century Fox should really consider offering him this project that he could mould into a badass action flick, plus we’d love to see Nate join franchise playing a mutant himself as well.