American Way: Those Above and Below

Oscar winner John Ridley writing and directing The American Way film adaptation for Blumhouse

Contributed by
Apr 16, 2018

The comic series The American Way: Those Above and Those Below is getting a big screen adaptation, courtesy of Blumhouse Productions.

According to Deadline. the the comic's creator, John Ridley, will write and direct the film himself. In terms of screen adaptations, Ridley recently won an Oscar for his much-lauded 12 Years a Slave script.

Jason Blum will produce the film, which Deadline describes as one that will use superheroes "to explore timely social issues including race and integration."

The American Way: Those Above and Those Below was published just last year by DC's Vertigo imprint, and was a followup miniseries to the 2007 graphic novel The American Way (also written by Ridley). The new series features art by Livesay, Georges Jeanty, and Danny Miki. It continues to deal with The Civil Defense Corps from the original work, which is a team of superheroes partially designed to make every segment of the American population feel represented. Picking up in the 1970s, the remnants of the group are still trying to keep America safe. The movie will be set in 1972.

The American Way- Cover

Courtesy of DC/Vertigo

The comic tells the story of what remains of the team, represented by Missy Devereaux, aka "Ole Miss," (who has become a candidate for Mississippi's governor), the former Amber Waves (Amber Eaton, a domestic terrorist), and Jason Fisher, who remains a crime fighter and propaganda mainstay. Fisher is a black superhero who is consistently used to pacify black Americans, and the series sees him attempt to help those in need in Baltimore's inner city.

The series may be set in the '70's, but the racial issues that it brings up (including those fighting for/against a system that is rigged against them) are more relevant than ever. With Ridley adapting the work himself, it's a safe bet that this will not be just another superhero movie.

Blumhouse seems like a natural choice to produce a film that would explore racial themes by subverting the superhero genre, as it produced something similar with Get Out. Granted, it used the horror/thriller genre instead of superheroes, but here's hoping that this new venture will turn out to be just as powerful as that one was— with Ridley personally involved, we have high hopes that it will be.

(via Deadline)


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