John Ridley is writing and directing what’ll be a timely film adaptation of his DC Comics series (under the Wildstorm and Vertigo imprints) The American Way, for Blumhouse.
It will specifically be an adaptation of 2017’s The American Way: Those Above and Those Below.
The series first began as a follow up to The Ameican Way graphic novel.
Here is a synopsis from Deadline, who first reported the news:
The original dealt with the creation of a team of ’60s superheroes called The Civil Defense Corps, each with special powers but also a specific ethnic makeup designed to make segments of the American population feel safe and represented. There is also a group of supervillains pitted against the heroes, but the whole thing is partly a contrivance to pacify an American public growing increasingly inflamed with the times. The movie will be focused in 1972 and pick up that original story a decade later. Ridley has said his inspiration for the series was Ridley reading of LBJ’s desire to add a black astronaut to the space program. Jason Fisher is added to the superhero roster as The New American, a black man subjected to genetic manipulation to give him super strength but a limited pain threshold. His presence creates turmoil within the superhero crew, emblematic of the times, and when the government creates a new superhero called Hellbent to mask this strife, the superhero crew is devastated by the results.
Ten years after the CDC was torn apart by racism, infighting and murder and exposed as a propaganda sham, the surviving members are heading in different directions. Missy Devereaux–a.k.a. Ole Miss–is transitioning from the First Lady of Mississippi into a candidate for governor and defender of a vanishing and hateful way of life. Amber Eaton–formerly known as Amber Waves–is a domestic terrorist, using her powers to infiltrate and destroy the country’s centers of power. Fisher has remained a crime fighter conflicted with being a propaganda prop to sustain a system rigged against the black population of America. He tries to become a champion of the disenfranchised people of inner-city Baltimore, who are wary he is a tool of the heavy-handed police force. Though the film will be set in 1972, there are plenty of issues that ring relevant today and that give this a chance to be more than your typical spandex saga.
Definitely an interesting project for Jason Blum’s Blumhouse, whose speciality is horror (ex. Get Out). Blumhouse is fast-tracking the project, so don’t be surprised if we see it possibly late Q4 2018.