Posted on October 15th, 2018 by Derêka K. Bennett
After producing numerous of successful animated series such as Bebe’s Kids and The Boondocks, Reginald Hudlin of Hudlin Entertainment has optioned author Joshua B. Drummond’s illustrated children’s book I’m A Brilliant Little Black Boy! for a new animation series entitled Brilliant Boys!
As director and producer of some of the most influential films and television series in the canon of Black popular culture (House Party, Boomerang, The Bernie Mac Show, Django Unchained, Marshall), Hudlin recognizes the importance of Brilliant Boys! and the profound impact it stands to have on the youth.
“It’s important now, more than ever, that we show our boys positive reflections of themselves. Kids respond to what they see. I’m A Brilliant Little Black Boy! is one of the best examples of regular boys having regular experiences. They have their own brand of creative brilliance. We just have to recognize it, channel it into a fun animation series and celebrate it,” says Hudlin.
Brilliant Boys! aims to address the void in animated network programming targeted to African-American children between ages 6 and 11.
“There are no animated series for our boys right now,” says Joshua. “It’s time to address that. I grew up seeing limited reflections of myself, especially in animation form. Today, there aren’t any animated series starring ordinary Black boys just being cool and doing fun things. It’s my intention to help remedy that with Brilliant Boys!”
The 22-year-old University of California at Santa Barbara film student was inspired to pen the book after noticing the scarcity of books with positive messages available for young Black boys. The book gained support from Academy Award winning actors Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson as well as Academy Award nominated filmmaker John Singleton – all of whom provided quotes for the book’s cover.
The subsequent #Bbrilliant campaign for the book included a viral video featuring appearances by actor Vin Diesel, Michael Ealy, Blair Underwood, and Omari Hardwick among others.
Reginald Hudlin shares updates on the project at HudlinEntertainment.com.
My creation, Shuri, now has her own comic book series at Marvel. Here’s the writer of the book talking her:
I spent the first half of summer 2018 producing the movie EMPEROR, based on the true story of Shields Green, who was rumored to have royal heritage. He escaped from slavery and had a series of amazing adventures as he moved north, where he ended up meeting Fredrick Douglass and John Brown.
First up is location scouting.
We saw pretty much every swamp in Savannah, and a few other cities too.
Plenty of reminders where we were.
In the gift shop of one of the forts. I shoulda bought it!
This was in the lobby of the building we used as our production office. I thought that was a good sign.
I like to cover the walls of the production office with research and inspirational images for the film.
Emperor. Something about this image that is undeniably powerful.
Dayo Okeniyi as Shields Green, Emperor.
Got to pick the right gun for each character.
Over the years, there have been many versions of the American flag. You have to pick the right one for the era.
Real snakes were used in the movie!
TV News Desk Jun. 20, 2018
EMPEROR is inspired by the true story of Shields Green (Okeniyi), who in 1859 escaped from a plantation and made a daring journey north where he met Frederick Douglass and John Brown (Cromwell). With the opportunity to continue to freedom in Canada, Green instead chose to fight to end slavery. The raid at Harpers Ferry is considered one of the sparks that led to the Civil War.
Cromwell will be on the screen this summer in the highly anticipated JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM. He is best known for iconic roles in THE GREEN MILE, LA CONFIDENTIAL and BABE, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor.
“It’s a special treat to play the same character my father played in a movie he directed, ABE LINCOLN IN ILLINOIS,” Cromwell said. “Both of us are attracted to the character of John Brown, my father because he was a Civil War buff, and a liberal, and I, because I believe what John Brown did was necessary, if misguided, and I’m a progressive. ”
Dern next co-stars with Matthew McConaughey in Sony’s WHITE BOY RICK, and has recently been seen in the films CHAPPAQUIDDICK, THE HATEFUL EIGHT and DJANGO UNCHAINED. He is best known for his Academy Award® nominated performances in NEBRASKA and COMING HOME.
Award-winning actress and singer Naturi Naughton is best known for her performance as Tasha St. Patrick on the hit TV series “Power,” which she is the two-time recipient of the NAACP Award’s “Best Supporting Actress in a Drama” category. Naughton is also known for her breakout film role starring as female rap icon ?Lil Kim in NOTORIOUS, as well as the remake of the classic film FAME. Naughton first emerged in the entertainment business as one-third of the platinum selling girl group, 3LW.
Lennix, who will be playing American legend Frederick Douglass in the film, is best known for roles in BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, MAN OF STEEL and THE MATRIX RELOADED. He also appeared on series “The Blacklist.”
Graham has recently been seen in Netflix’s “How it Ends” and also features ALL EYEZ ON ME and WHERE’S THE MONEY, as well as a series regular on “The Vampire Diaries.” She will soon be seen in the heist thriller CUT THROAT CITY.
Robson is best known as the series regular Craig Cody on the TV series “Animal Kingdom,” and for roles in the show “Vikings” and features THE BOY and DRACULA: THE DARK PRINCE.
Johnson will next be seen starring in Robert Rodriguez’s ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL and is known for his role on the award winning series “Nashville” and “The Fosters.” He will also be seen in the upcoming heist thriller CUT THROAT CITY.