Is the time right for a great black director to cross-over to sci-fi? While the role of minorities in sci-fi has gotten better over the years, there aren't a lot of black themed science fiction movies.
There have been several black filmmakers that have worked on genre films like Tim Story's Fantastic Four films and the Hughes Brothers' Book of Eli. So, things are changing for the better.
Here are seven great African-American directors that haven't made a science fiction film, but should. Now.
1. John Singleton
John Daniel Singleton is from South Los Angeles, California and a lot of his early films - like Boyz n the Hood, Poetic Justice and Higher Learning - deal with inner-city violence. But he also directed the blockbuster action film 2 Fast 2 Furious, so he can handle a big sci-fi blockbuster. You can bet in his film the black guy wouldn't die first.
2. Spike Lee
Spike Lee's films have been a lightning rod of controversy due to their themes of race relations, colorism in the black community, the role of media, urban crime, poverty, and other political issues. He criticises the portrayal of African-Americans in film with films like Bamboozled. It's about time he set a new standard with a sci-fi or superhero film. If he made one it would be the more controversal than Prometheus. For different reasons obviously. Maybe more "pimp-slapping."
3. Reginald Hudlin
4. Ava Marie DuVernay
Female directors are rare and controversial. Female directors of color are even more closely scrutinized. DuVernay is the first African-American woman to win the Sundance Best Director Prize for her second feature film Middle of Nowhere. While her work has mainly been with low budget and documentary films she could turn the genre on it's ear with her highly personal style of film-making.
5. Tyler Perry
Tyler Perry is best known for his Madea series of comedies and you either love or hate him for that. He's also done some very successful dramas. While he said Madea would never go in space he did say that his favorite genre of film is sci-fi saying, "I love sci-fi to no end." He had a guest role in Star Trek Into Darkness, but why not go all out and make a sci-fi film of his own? If we have to have Madea, she'd be hilarious in a spacesuit.
6. Denzel Washington
Washington is best known as a brilliant actor and leading man, but he's also a director. His two films are Antwone Fisher and The Great Debaters and both have people fighting impossible odds. He'd make an amazing sci-fi movie with that theme. Kind of like Aliens with a debate team.
7. Malcolm D. Lee
If the name sounds familiar it's because he's the cousin of Spike Lee. You could say he's just hanging on the coattails of a famous relative, but he's a successful director in his own right. His most widely known film is Best Man's Holiday which he described as "middle-class characters who happen to be black" gathered for a friend's marriage. Why not make a science fiction film about "middle-class characters who happen to be black?"
Would you like to see a great black director make a sci-fi film? If so who?
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