John Ridley has signed to write and direct an adaptation of his comic book mini-series The American Way: Those Above And Those Below for Blumhouse Productions.
The six-issue series that will be the basis of the film is a sequel to Ridley’s 2007 mini-series The American Way. Set in the 1960s, that series told the story of New American, the first African-American to join a team of government-sponsored superheroes, the Civil Defense Corps. The sequel series, picks up the story a decade later after the team has been rocked by numerous scandals and exposed as a propaganda stunt by the government. Despite its historical setting, there are many issues that parallel today’s social concerns.
Ridley, who won an Oscar for writing 12 Years A Slave, co-created the series with artist George Jeanty. Although it was first published by DC Comics imprint Wildstorm, the creator contracts from that time gave Ridley the film rights to the material, which is why we are not seeing this being developed under the banner of DC Comics parent company Warner brothers.
Interestingly, the film is set up over at Blumhouse, a production shingle known far more for their prestigious output of horror films. However, we have been seeing Blumhouse stretching its wings a bit — They were the producers of last year’s Oscar—buzzed Get Out. Deadline reports that the film is being fast tracked by Blumhouse.