Nigeria’s Comic Republic, the largest publisher of independent comic books in Africa has signed a production deal with Emagine Content and JackieBoy Entertainment to adapt its catalogue of African superheroes for film and TV.
According to Hollywood Reporter, Comic Republic has published African-based titles like Ireti, the story of a university student in Ibadan, Nigeria blessed with superpowers, Aje, a fantasy title inspired by Yoruba spirituality and mysticism, and The Vanguards, which focuses on an Avengers-style team of superheroes. Most of the publisher’s titles are rooted in traditional African mythology, folktales, and culture.
The first project planned under the partnership is a feature film adaptation of Ireti, which the companies bill as the first “African female superhero.”
The companies said the goal of the new venture will be to “portray a positive global influence of Africa and negate previous misconceptions.”
What they are saying
Jide Martin, CEO of Comic Republic said, “It’s a great time to be alive. We are in a world where diversity has taken center stage. We are thrilled to be working with Emagine Content and Jackie Boy to bring our heroes and stories to the big screen but mostly because we get the chance to be a part of black history.”
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Ben Phelps, Emagine CEO said, “This deal is a major push towards diversity on the silver screen for black superheroes. The time is now to showcase heroes of all different backgrounds…The ability to create role models for future generations to come is a unique opportunity that comes with an important responsibility to make sure the storytelling is authentic. For us, finding a partnership that is looking to be a disruptive force with good morals is everything.”
John Tillery of JackieBoy also said, “JackieBoy Entertainment is excited to bring the three companies together and embark on this watershed moment in comic book culture, connecting the voices of African stories to universal themes for all to enjoy. We look forward to working with the stellar teams of Emagine Content and Comic Republic to strengthen the alliance between African-based creatives and comic enthusiasts with genuine characters and storylines.”
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What you should know
- The 2018 Hollywood movie, Black Panther which was based on a fictitious African country, Wakanda, became a major blockbuster success, grossing a worldwide total of $1.347 billion and becoming one of the highest-grossing solo superhero films of all time.
- The film received numerous accolades, with seven nominations at the 91st Academy Awards including the first nomination for Best Picture for a superhero film, and the first Academy Award win for an MCU film with wins for Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design.