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As the superhero movie genre is finally beginning to stretch its boundaries and diversify its content, a new movie called Fast Color may push those lines further out than anything we've seen so far from Marvel or DC.
That's because Fast Color is about three generations of black women -— Ruth (Gugu Mbatha-Raw from Black Mirror's classic "San Junipero" segment), her mother Bo (Lorraine Toussaint) and her daughter, Lila (Saniyya Sidney) — who all possess superhuman abilities that seem to range from simple telekinesis to the ability to control the forces of nature themselves.
Ruth, it seems, left her family behind years ago and went on the lam, ostensibly to protect them from all-too-human forces looking to tap into or even "cure" her capabilities. But with nowhere left to go, she returns home again, where she, her mother, and her daughter will seek to take control of their powers and their destinies.
Take a look at the film's first trailer, which premiered earlier today on Entertainment Weekly:
In terms of the aesthetic at work here, this is closer to Unbreakable than Avengers: Infinity War — a gritty, realistically mounted tale of seemingly "normal" people dealing with extraordinary abilities in a grounded, recognizable setting, and not in a battle spanning the entire galaxy (not that there's anything wrong with that).
But this isn't middle-aged, middle-class white guy Bruce Willis either. The central characters — the film's superheroes — are women of color and, in the cases of two of them, mothers; with the exception here and there of someone like Storm from the X-Men movies, we have yet to see such characters on the screen and starring in their own story.
“My husband and I came up with the idea for the movie when we became parents,” director Julia Hart, who co-wrote the film with her husband and producer Jordan Horowitz, told EW. “I just felt this superhuman strength that I had never felt before when I became a mother. So, the idea for the movie came from this notion that mothers are superheroes. I realized that I’d never seen a movie where there was actually a superhero who was a mother. That was the origin of it, about these three generations of women — a grandmother, a mother, and a daughter — using their relationship with each other to understand, and accept, and use their powers.”
Hart realized the three main characters had to be women of color when she saw Mbatha-Raw in another film (Beyond the Lights). She explained, "What started out as a story about female power and the power of mothers ultimately became about the power of women of color, which, as a white woman, was something much bigger than me and my understanding of the world."
SYFY WIRE's Kristy Puchko caught the film when it premiered at last year's SXSW Festival, and you can read her enthusiastic thoughts here. Now almost a year later, the rest of us will get to experience Fast Color when it opens on March 29.