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7 Controversial Black Directors Who Should Make a Sci-Fi Film [List]

Spike Lee

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

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
Reginald Hudlin
His first film was the teen classic House Party but the animated series Boondocks called him a "culturally insensitive buffoon coasting on his Ivy League education." Hudlin helped produce the Oscar nominated Django Unchanged because he was tired of seeing noble suffering. He wanted to see "foot to a**." That kind of attitude could make a groundbreaking sci-fi movie for all races.

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

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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  1. Excellent list, although I'm very ambivalent about Tyler Perry's inclusion. To his credit, he has built a media empire from scratch that employs many Black actors. To his discredit, the majority of his narratives pander to the lowest common denominators, and evoke the worst of minstrel, buffoonish Black caricatures.

  2. Washington could do one. Singleton could make one that would be a roller coaster ride of action, like Aliens.

  3. I really don't care what color or sex the director of the movie is. What I do know is none of them could do worse than M Night Shymalan.

  4. Spike Lee doing superheroes might be good for both of them. It might make people remember he exists, and give us a totally new superhero experience.

  5. Have a Spike Lee, Stan Lee crossover, and call it SLX2. ;-)
    Seriously, I think Reginald Hudlin could pull it off. He has the smarts to produce and direct.

  6. I would like to see more people of color in sci fi and more women.

  7. Some great possibilities here - as long as the focus was on a great story rather than pushing some agenda. A Spike Lee superhero film does sound cool.

  8. The story is the key Nick, black or white. Glad you visited Nick and I'm still wishing you the best after your loss.

  9. More on both counts Mary. That's why I put DuVernay on the list.

  10. Lee and Lee. Those two guys would produce an amazing movie.

  11. Personally I find the Madea films insanely annoying. But he does provocative dramas (ie. Precious) and he worked with J.J. Abrams. Does that count for something?

  12. I'm not the biggest fan of J.J. Abrams. That said, If Tyler Perry makes a sci-fi film with the same gravitas as he does his more serious dramas, I would watch it.

  13. I have to co-sign with Roderick about Tyler Perry. I'll have none of that, lol. A few years back my mom was in the hospital and all she wanted to watch was Tyler Perry stuff. My insides were physically damaged by these movies. I had to tell my mom to move over so I could also receive medical care.

    Alas, I discovered there is no medical cure for having seen Tyler Perry material.

    I will carry these scars forever.

    But aside from that, let's not forget Hudlin wrote Black Panther for a couple of years, so he's no doubt amenable to sci-fi. He even said in one interview that he only got into movies because it was EASIER than getting into comics. Wow.


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