A slavery-era drama based on the work of Ta-Nehisi Coates is coming to theaters near you.
On Monday, it was announced that Nia DaCosta, director of the upcoming ‘Captain Marvel’ sequel ‘The Marvels’ starring Brie Larson, will direct the feature film adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ best-selling novel ‘The Water Dancer.’
‘The Water Dancer’ is the debut novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Released in 2019, the book is based on the character of Hiram Walker who was born into slavery during the Antebellum South on a declining tobacco plantation in Virginia named Lockless. He is the mixed-race son of a white plantation owner and a black mother who was sold away by his father when Hiram was young.
“As a young man, Hiram almost drowns when he crashes a carriage into a river, but he’s saved from the depths by a mysterious power he never realized he had and struggles to understand,” Variety detailed.
The film will be produced by Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films. The novel was selected by Oprah Winfrey as the first book for the revival of her Oprah’s Book Club on Apple TV+. She called it “one of the best books I have ever read in my entire life. Right up there in the Top 5.”
DaCosta and Coates are no strangers to race-based cinema. DaCosta wrote and directed last year’s “Candyman” sequel that was soaked in Black Nationalism.
In a film that turns gentrification into the villain, the character of Candyman is turned into a weapon against “white supremacy” and as a result, the Candyman’s victims are almost exclusively white.
The ending of the movie has multiple ‘Candymans’ killing white police officers and the film draws direct parallels to the Black Lives Matter movement.
DaCosta complained last year about the “subtle racism” she experienced working on the film as the director.
DaCosta took aim at some of the cast who she said angered her with the way they approached her, “It’s not necessarily overtly racist, but it is shocking the way people have talked to me in my position as a director. People who work for me.”
“Especially on a movie like this (‘Candyman’), where Jordan (Peele) was the only other person of colour at the level of decision-making on the movie. And that’s unacceptable, frankly,” she told The Guardian.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a name that is notorious to comic book fans. Two years ago, after being the lead writer for Marvel’s Captain America, Coates had Captain America renounce his association with the United States of America because the President had become a villain, a move which was done as an obvious shot at then-president Donald Trump.
In the same series, he wrote Hydra villain, Red Skull, to parody and mock Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life and use them as a symbol of radical extremism.
Coates has also made numerous anti-white and anti-American comments in the past. When rapper Kanye West voiced his support for President Trump, Coates wrote a piece entitled “I’m not black, I’m Kanye.” He said that Kanye, because of his support of Trump, was NOT black, he does not represent black people, and only wants ‘White Freedom.’
Coates wrote, “West calls his struggle the right to be a ‘free thinker,’ and he is, indeed, championing a kind of freedom—a white freedom, freedom without consequence, freedom without criticism, freedom to be proud and ignorant; freedom to profit off a people in one moment and abandon them in the next.”
“A Stand Your Ground freedom, freedom without responsibility, without hard memory; a Monticello without slavery,” Coates continued. “A Confederate freedom, the freedom of John C. Calhoun, not the freedom of Harriet Tubman, which calls you to risk your own; not the freedom of Nat Turner, which calls you to give even more, but a conqueror’s freedom.”
“Freedom of the strong built on antipathy or indifference to the weak, the freedom of rape buttons, pussy grabbers, and fuck you anyway, bitch; freedom of oil and invisible wars, the freedom of suburbs drawn with red lines, the white freedom of Calabasas,” he stated.
Coates also angered fans for a statement slamming the police and firefighters who died running into the burning buildings to save people’s lives during the terrorist attacks on September 11th.
“They were not human to me. Black, white, or whatever, they were menaces of nature; they were the fire, the comet, the storm, which could with no justification shatter my body,” he wrote in his book Between the World and Me.
Coates and DaCosta are both favorites of the Hollywood brass, DaCosta is represented by Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Management 360, Casarotto Ramsay, and Del Shaw Moonves. Meanwhile, Coates has been hired to write the script of a new Superman feature film from DC Films and Warner Bros. Pictures, with J.J. Abrams producing.
What are your thoughts on Coates and DaCosta coming together to a future film?