Marvel Taps ‘Mogul Mowgli’ Director Bassam Tariq to Direct ‘Blade’

Today, Deadline broke the exclusive news that Marvel is set to choose Mogul Mowgli director Bassam Tariq to direct the new ‘Blade’ film starring Mahershala Ali. Sources close to Deadline say that while deal hasn’t been finalized, it does come at the end of a fairly long and considerate search for the film’s director. When the deal is officially inked, Tariq will become Marvel’s sixth director of color, rounding out the list of his contemporaries that include Ryan Coogler, Chloé Zhao, and Taika Waititi.

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Hard NOC Life: Marvel’s Fantastic Phase Four

After a grueling week in San Diego, Dominic and Keith return to take stock of all of the bombshells that dropped during Marvel Studios’ lauded Hall H presentation. Plus, Keith speaks to A Wave Blue World VP of Sales and Marketing Lisa Wu and illustrator Steenz — who’s working on an upcoming anthology for AWBW this fall — live at the annual NOC Comic-Con meetup.

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‘Black Panther’ Ignites the Next Generation of Fandom Movements

Originally posted at Pop Culture Collab

“It’s Panther season, family.”

My cousin recently said this to me after I asked how her freshman year at an Ivy League university was going. Let’s be clear, by no means is my cousin a comic book or superhero film fan. She always teased me for being an “Afrogeek” and wondered why I loved superheroes, horror, science fiction, and related genres.

But she was one of the scores of black audience members so excited about Black Panther, the latest superhero film released in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), that she and “a couple dozen” of her friends bought early tickets to the February 16 premiere. Every one of them wore an African-inspired outfit.

When I teased her for “coming over to the geek side,” she laughed at me like she knew something I didn’t. “This is not about comic books or superheroes, cousin,” she rebutted. “This is about culture.”

She made me wonder: Why has Black Panther transcended both its comic book and superhero film roots and typical fandoms?

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Ballad of an AfroGeek

The above image is from the cover of my upcoming book: Diary of an AfroGeek.

Being an AfroGeek is all about being comfortable, and expecting, to hold immense contradictions. It is loving Firefly, Serenity, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but having a strong feeling that Joss Whedon doesn’t love you back. It is about getting into passionate discussions about why and how Storm’s original mohawk incarnation was one of the more powerful political statements in comics, but being appalled at how uninteresting she became when she married Black Panther.

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Elsewhere Around the Internet

Last week, while we were a little preoccupied with the idea of casting an Asian American actor as Iron Fist, Hollywood — as if on cue — once again proved cross-racial casting is really a one-way street and announced Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara will be playing Tiger Lily in Warner Brothers’ upcoming live action Peter Pan adaptation.

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Survivors: Black Men in Horror Films

Since it’s Halloween, many of us Nerds have horror movies on the brain, especially me.

I fondly remember being about 8-years-old and watching horror classics like The Exorcist and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Despite countless nightmares and near bed-wetting experiences, I continued to want to be scared because I fell in love with the genre. There was such diversity in the types of horror films I could watch, from ghost stories like Poltergeist and psychological thrillers like The Shining, to slasher flicks like A Nightmare on Elm Street and vampire-themed classics like The Lost Boys. My favorite films were B-movie cult classics like The Evil Dead trilogy, which combined comedy, zombies, and the supernatural all into one. But scary sci-fi gore fests like Alien weren’t too far behind either.

Although there was much diversity in the types of horror films that I watched, there wasn’t a lot of diversity in the cast of characters that populated these films. All of the movies mentioned above feature a cast of mainly white characters and families. As a half-Korean fan of horror, I always longed to see more characters of color play significant roles in American horror movies. Of course there are plenty of Asian horror films, but I honestly can’t remember any Asian characters in mainstream American horror films of the last three decades — which is why we love Steve Yeun so much around NOC HQ.

And while you might find the occasional black character attending camp or staying in a cabin in the woods, black men were usually the first to get sliced, diced, or axed in a slasher flick, as evidenced by Bao‘s “Not Gonna Make It” collection, posted yesterday.

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NOC Poetry: “Blade, The Daywalker”

Last year, my friend and mentor, the poet Tim Seibles, was a finalist for a National Book Award in poetry for the book Fast Animal.

In the book, Tim writes a series of poems from the perspective of Blade, the Marvel Comics vampire hunter made famous by a series of movies starring Wesley Snipes.

For Lit Week, I asked Tim if we could publish one of the “Blade” poems here on The Nerds of Color. After the jump, you’ll find the first poem in the book’s series of five. The other poems are titled “Blade, Historical,” “Blade, Unplugged,” “Blade, Unsympathetic,” and “Blade, Epiphany.” So, if you haven’t already, go out and get a copy of Fast Animal right now — and hell, all of Tim’s other books of poetry. You won’t be sorry.

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We Do Not Need a Wonder Woman Movie

We don’t need a Wonder Woman movie. Yeah, I said it.

I can scarcely imagine a worse waste of digital celluloid: flying spears thrown from thin, gangly limbs, a star-spangled miniskirt threatening wardrobe malfunctions for two and a quarter hours, unblemished ivory skin strained under gold and platinum body armor, practicality be damned. Wonder Woman the movie — fangirl nirvana, fanboy nightmare. Whenever people discuss the needless parade of White Anglo-Saxon Protestants who populate superhero movies’ starring roles, part of me appreciates their boredom with the obnoxious identity politics at play; what was The Avengers but a classic fraternity bro-down with human growth hormone, outdated mythology and colorful titanium tossed in for kicks?

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How to Not Screw Up a Black Panther Film

A while back, Avi Arad stated “they” (I’m assuming Marvel Studios) had a “great take” on a Black Panther film, and follows this up with referring to the film thusly: “It’s like black Indiana Jones.” Really? A monarch of one the most technologically advanced societies in the world, not to mention that this society is in Africa — just how in the jolly green fuck can you relate this to Indiana Jones?

T’Challa is a king, a diplomat, a scientist, an athlete, a super hero… He makes Indiana Jones’ racist, plundering adventures obsolete. To make a great Panther he has to be regal and own his arrogance — not use his arrogance as a front for insecurities, a la Tony Stark. He doesn’t fail up like Indiana Jones. He strategizes and then takes chances. If T’Challa were in Raiders of the Lost Ark he would have just let the Nazis open the Ark and watched them all melt. He wouldn’t have engaged in all that unnecessary adventuring. The Black Panther is a character unto himself. He needs to be afforded the same care and consideration of the other Marvel-verse heroes and their various “phase” films.

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