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Michael B. Jordan to Helm Film Adaptation of African Epic Fantasy Novel 'Black Leopard, Red Wolf'

The book, by Jamaican writer Marlon James, has been dubbed the "African Game of Thrones."

Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan, under his production imprint Outlier Society, is set to helm a film adaptation of Jamaican author Marlon James' newly released "African fantasy epic" Black Leopard, Red Wolf, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The novel, which is the first in his Dark Star Trilogy, has been described as the "African Game of Thrones." The novel is set in a fantastical African country and draws on several mythological elements, and "decidedly adult themes," says the author.


Here's a full description via Shadow & Act:

Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: "He has a nose," people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.

As Tracker follows the boy's scent--from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers--he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?

Drawing from African history and mythology and his own rich imagination, Marlon James has written a novel unlike anything that's come before it: a saga of breathtaking adventure that's also an ambitious, involving read. Defying categorization and full of unforgettable characters, Black Leopard, Red Wolf is both surprising and profound as it explores the fundamentals of truth, the limits of power, and our need to understand them both.

James is the award-winning author behind the critically-acclaimed 2014 novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. The author, who will executive produce the film adaptation, spoke with The New York Times recently about Black Leopard, Red Wolf and about the social power of fiction and epic fantasy during trying political times:

I've always thought we go back to the myths when we want answers. If you look at Tolkien, 'Lord of the Rings,' this came after World War I, they're trying to understand how human beings could have that depth of cruelty to other humans. ... The only way they could process it is to bring in mythical beasts.

Black Leopard, Red Wolf will be the first film production under Jordan's Outlier first-look film deal with Warner Bros. Jordan's Outlier Society, was one of the first production companies to adopt an inclusion-rider last year.

There's no word yet of whether Jordan will take on an acting role in the upcoming film, but we'll keep you posted as details arise.

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On Thursday, US President Donald Trump held a campaign rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota and—in typical white-nationalist fashion—used a significant portion of his speech to disparage the local Somali community, and once again take shots at the state's Somali-born Representative Ilhan Omar.

"As you know for many years leaders in Washington brought large numbers of refugees to your state from Somalia without considering the impact on schools and communities and taxpayers," said Trump, echoing the countless anti-immigrant statements he's made in the past. "You should be able to decide what is best for your own cities and for your own neighborhoods and that's what you have the right to do right now, and believe me, no other president would be doing that," he added as his supporters cheered him on.

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The film, which will be released as a Netflix original, won the Grand Prix at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, making Diop the first black woman to win an award at the festival. It has the potential to make history once again, as it's been submitted as Senegal's Oscar entry for Best International Film. If it earns the nomination, it will be the first-ever nomination for the country, as noted by Shadow & Act.

READ: Senegalese Filmmaker Mati Diop Tells a Haunted Story of Migration

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Aisha's talent for storytelling has previously been highlighted in Assembly, a by-girls-for-girls publication by the Malala Fund that brought Aisha's graphic novel to life, premiering it today in conjunction with International Day of the GIrl. Tess Thomas, Assembly's editor, elaborated on the purpose of the publication saying, "We believe in the power of girls' voices to generate change. Our publication provides girls with a platform so their opinions and experiences can inform decisions about their futures."

Aisha's words were illustrated by artist Simone Martin-Newberry, who had this to say about the process of creating the visuals for the graphic novel: "I was very moved by Aisha's story, and really wanted to treat it sensitively and do it justice with my illustrations. My aim was to capture the real emotions and actions of the story, but also keep my artwork bright and colorful and full of pattern, to help reflect Aisha's amazing youthful spirit."

Check out some excerpts from the piece below and head here to read it in full.
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