With the unprecedented success of Black Panther last year (bringing in over $1.344 billion worldwide), we wanted to take a look at the slate of movies dealing with themes of Africa and the African Diaspora in 2019, as well as projections forward into the early part of the approaching decade.
Recently, Will Smith finally received the nod to portray 44th U.S. President Barack Obama in a Biopic. After formally receiving President Obama’s blessing in 2017 (after years of rumors speculation), the entertainment mogul was approved for a full autobiographical feature length film depiction. Although, President Obama has had a couple of movies already (“Barry” and “Southside with You” (both 2016)), neither were comprehensive delineations of his maturation into the world leader he has become. “Southside with You”, was centered around his introduction to his eventual wife Michelle, while the Netflix film “Barry” strictly dealt with his latter undergraduate years at Columbia University in NYC.
Hopefully, this one will dive even more to his father’s Kenyan and Luo heritage and the climactic Part 3 of his bestselling memoir Dreams from my Father where Barack Obama is forced to reconcile his ambiguous racial and cultural identities as he travels to Kenya to connect with his paternal relatives.
It likely won’t be out to around 2021.
Eddie Murphy along with Paramount, has also confirmed they moving forward with the recently anticipated sequel of the classic 80s romance comedy “Coming to America”. The fictitious Zamunda will take center stage in part 2, with a returning all-star cast of Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones and John Amos. This coupled with contemporary talent and celebrity power, including “Black…ish” creator Kenya Barris will be in charge of the script and executive producer and Craig Brewer’s directive.
It won’t be out until the summer of 2020.
Finally, a film that directly depicts the African immigrant experience in America is set to begin filming this year. “Tasmanian Devil” is centered on the struggles of a Nigerian American family, through the eyes of their 19-year-old son Dayo. Announced last month to be played by Ghanaian Actor Abraham Attah, who had his breakout Hollywood role in 2017’s Spiderman: Homecoming, it should provide a much needed look into the New African-American perspective for the big screen.
Like the Coming to America sequel, it will not be released in theaters until at least 2020.