Blumhouse Productions are teaming up with John Ridley to develop a film based on Ridley’s comic book series “The American Way: Those Above And Those Below”. The author is writing to direct a film that uses superheroes to explore timely social issues including race and integration. Jason Blum is going to produce.
According to Deadline, the comic was published as a six-issue monthly miniseries last year by DC Entertainment’s Vertigo label. Ridley wrote the story will illustrator George Jeanty, and it was a followup to their acclaimed 2007 graphic novel “The American Way”. The original dealt with the creation of a team of ’60s superheroes called The Civil Defense Corps, each with special powers but also a specific ethnic makeup designed to make segments of the American population feel safe and represented.
There is also a group of supervillains pitted against the heroes, but the whole thing is partly a contrivance to pacify an American public growing increasingly inflamed with the times. The movie will be focused in 1972 and pick up that original story a decade later.
Jason Fisher is added to the superhero roster as The New American, a black man subjected to genetic manipulation to give him super strength but a limited pain threshold. His presence creates turmoil within the superhero crew, emblematic of the times, and when the government creates a new superhero called Hellbent to mask this strife, the superhero crew is devastated by the results. Though the film will be set in 1972, there are plenty of issues that ring relevant today and that give this a chance to be more than your typical spandex saga.