Reginald Hudlin, AWA Studios Partner to Develop Original With Aims to ‘Increase Representation’ and ‘Empower a New Generation’
Variety | BreAnna Bell
Already on their schedule is a slew of upcoming franchises, with the first title set for release in late 2023. Written and curated by Hudlin, both parties will cooperate in the development of projects from ideation to film and TV adaptation. Each project will be centered around an original story with an emphasis on diverse characters.
The partnership serves as a reunion for Hudlin, the former president of entertainment for BET Networks, and Alex Alonso, AWA co-founder and chief creative officer. The two first worked together during Hudlin’s six-year run writing Marvel’s comic series “Black Panther,” at which time Alonso was editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics. Hudlin’s run on the series helped elevate the character to mainstream cultural relevance, adding momentum behind the global film franchise. The duo came together again when Hudlin became the first Black creator to pick up the Spider-Man helm.
“Axel and I have a long history of incredible work together and I am excited to break ground on these new projects with him and for the AWA team to bring fans original stories centered around heroes from underrepresented backgrounds,” said Hudlin. “AWA’s bold vision for storytelling and putting creators first is the future of the business and I’m looking forward to showing fans what we can create together.”
Last month, AWA announced that Hudlin has joined its newly formed creative council – a team of creatives including J. Michael Straczynski, Al Madrigal and Mike Deodato Jr. The purpose behind the council is to provide guidance to AWA’s roster of writers and artists to help promote a diversity of contemporary storytelling perspectives, putting projects in an opportune position to be scaled across the entertainment ecosystem.
“Reggie and I share so much in common in terms of editorial goals and wanting to bring fresh, diverse voices and representation to the industry. I am excited to collaborate with him again to build on the success we had in the past with ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Spider-Man’ with a new slate of original stories,” said Alonso.
In a statement, AWA studios co-chair and president Matthew Anderson said: “At AWA, we seek partners who will help us challenge the industry norm and work with us to develop projects that showcase the unique way we empower creators with ownership and control over their stories. Our partnership with Reggie aims to bring new talents to the fore as we work together to grow these stories into cross-media franchises.”
Among the popular titles in Hudlin’s catalog are “Sidney,” “House Party,” “Boomerang,” “Marshall,” “The Black Godfather,” and “Safety,” as well as produced movies including “Django Unchained” and series including “Phat Tuesday,” “Friday Night Vibes,” “The Boondocks” and the “Black Panther “animated series. In his next project, Hudlin will direct the holiday film “Candy Cane Line,” starring Eddie Murphy, for Prime Video.