Neil LaBute Is Directing a Film Titled 'Black Chicks' - Based on His Play, 'Black Girls'
Photo Credit: S & A

Neil LaBute Is Directing a Film Titled 'Black Chicks' - Based on His Play, 'Black Girls'

Nicole G. Leier in ‘Black Chicks’ directed by Neil LaBute

The piece published just before this one – revisiting director Neil LaBute’s “Lakeview Terrace” (which starred Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington and Patrick Wilson) – led me to LaBute’s IMDB page, where I saw a listing for an upcoming film he’s directing titled “Black Chicks.” Of course it immediately got my attention for what should be obvious reasons!

The last update on the film’s Facebook page (thankfully one exists) dated August 15, 2016, says that it’s in post-production; it also states that a fall 2016 premiere is eyed.

By the way, I should mention that it’s a short film; so it’s likely not something that’ll be opening at any theater near you. Although a film festival tour is a given.

“Black Chicks” is based on a play by LaBute titled “Black Girls.” For those who don’t know, yes, he’s also a playwright, with a body of work that I’d broadly describe as provocative; plays that have, in a few cases, become feature length films that he also directed, like his feature directorial debut, “In the Company of Men,” and, later in his career, “The Shape of Things.” So whether “Black Chicks” might also eventually become a feature film, is a mystery at the moment.

I’m not familiar with “Black Girls” the play; a Google search returned very little, and most articles I found simply recycled others, so they all say pretty much the same thing, which is not very much in terms of details. It’s not listed on any of the Broadway or Off-Broadway, or Off-Off-Broadway online databases, although write-ups about the short film that it’s inspired, and the actress who stars in the film (Nicole G. Leier) say that she starred in a stage production of it in Los Angeles (no date given) and, afterward, felt strongly that it would make an excellent film and got in contact with LaBute, who agreed. The rest, as they say, is history (changing the title from “Black Girls” to “Black Chicks”).

Neil LaBute directs Nicole G. Leier and David Cubbit in ‘Black Chicks’ – based on his play ”Black Girls’.’

Available story info on the film, which is produced by Leier’s production company Black Tree Pictures, reads: “Black Girls” takes a white guy and a black girl through a wildly uncomfortable moment, as a seemingly innocent conversation between these two coworkers turns into a racially charged back and forth.

According to the actress, the film/play “unveils an important story, addressing huge issues in an understated yet emotional way,” as racial stereotypes are “brought to light… and questioned.”

David Cubit co-stars as the “white guy.”

I unfortunately don’t have a direct line to Neil LaBute nor actress Nicole G. Leier, but I sent a message via Facebook asking for more information on the project, so if I receive a reply, I’ll update this post. Of course if you know something that will shed further light on the play and/or the film, feel free to share in the comment section below.

No trailer/teaser at this time. But the above photos are official.

Leier, Labute and DP Brendan Uegama (who also co-owns Black Tree Pictures) are all producers.

I’m certainly curious about this one; if it’s anything like LaBute’s past work, it should push a few buttons.

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