John Ridley is bringing his comic book The American Way to the big screen thanks to horror maven Blumhouse. For years now, Marvel fans have been anxiously awaiting any news on a proposed TV project between the company and Ridley. Having made his name on films like 12 Years a Slave and shows like American Crime, the idea of Marvel TV series from Ridley has been wildly appealing. And every so often, we get another update about Ridley’s mystery Marvel TV project. Whether his Marvel show ever manifests or not, Ridley’s ties to DC are alive and well.
Back in 2006, Ridley teamed with artist Georges Jeanty to release The American Way via DC’s Vertigo imprint. Set amidst the socially tumultuous ’60s, the story follows a black hero named the New American who joins the Civil Defense Corps. A government super-team, the addition of the black hero ignites racial dissent in the group and around the country, allowing for plenty of political commentary amidst the action and intrigue. In the end, the whole team proves to be a propaganda effort by U.S. government and a sequel series explores the fallout a decade later.
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Deadline is reporting that Ridley and Blumhouse Productions will help adapt the follow-up comic, last year’s The American Way: Those Above And Those Below. Ridley will write and direct the film, ensuring it will stay true to the source material. And though Blumhouse is best known for horror fare, their work bringing Get Out to theaters proves they’re more than willing to explore social and political subject matter.
The film will take place in 1972, the same year Those Above And Those Below is set. Following Jason Fisher in the years after he was the New American, the story will see him try and help a small Baltimore community even as the citizens there question his motives. Meanwhile, former members of the CDC have gone down separate paths, including terrorism and political office. All told, the story will be perfectly in line with Ridley’s past work in film and television while finally allowing him to work further in the superhero genre.
Ridley may no longer be working on project for Marvel, but he has plenty on his plate besides The American Way. Last year, we learned Ridley will direct Needle in a Timestack, a time-travel story based on a short by Robert Silverman. Blumhouse, meanwhile, just released Truth or Dare and also has the highly anticipated Halloween reboot/sequel coming later this year. Both Ridley and Blumhouse are at the top of their game, which means The American Way could be another massive hit for both.