Was just reading THIS profile of Nigerian filmmaker Jeta Amata in the UK's Guardian newspaper website and learned that the director decided to rethink and reshoot his corruption drama about the volatile oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria, Black Gold, one of very few recent Hollywood/Nollywood-style collabs which stars Billy Zane (yup, that Billy Zane), Tom Sizemore, Vivica Fox, Sarah Wayne Callies, who's currently starring in AMC's hit new zombie series, The Walking Dead, Mbong Amata, Hakeem Kae Kazim, the Brit/Nigerian who has appeared in several British and American TV shows and films, as well as Jeta Amata's last film, Inale, and several others.
Why is Amata rethinking and reshooting the film? His words…
"It had to be more current. It had to adhere strictly to what was going on right now – the Arab spring and all that… It was a huge challenge that the Arabs posed to the rest of the world, especially the people in the Niger delta. If they can look at their dictators and say, 'No, we want a change', there's no reason why people in west Africa can't stand up. And it's beginning to happen."
Oh! And I thought maybe it was because the film isn't very good at all! Silly me for even thinking that 🙂
No matter, because the 37-year-old continues to attract even more Hollywood talent to the film, as he does it over, so obviously some are cool with it even if I wasn't.
According to the Guardian profile, Amata has reshot close to 60% of the film (wow, that's almost the entire frigging movie) and added to the cast are some more familiar names like Mickey Rourke, Kim Basinger and Anne Heche; This is an ensemble behemoth with all the names that are appearing in this thing!
And also he's changing the name from Black Gold to Black November (a reference to the month of activist Ken Saro-Wiwa's execution in 1995) and likely also to avoid any confusion with Jean-Jacques Annaud's critically-acclaimed oil epic, also titled Black Gold.
The *new* film will be released in Nigeria and in the USA later this year. How much improved will it be over its predecessor? I can only hope that it'll be significantly better.
Feel free to read the full Guardian profile HERE.
Watch the original film's trailer below: