Daniel Kaluuya To Star, Melina Matsoukas To Direct, And Lena Waithe To Pen Film Queen And Slim
I was scrolling Instagram last night, and I saw that New York Times best-selling author Luvvie Ajayi drafted Emmy winner Lena Waithe as an honorary Nigerian because of her “excellence, dopeness, work ethic and constant grinding.” Waithe left a comment under the post accepting membership, but I was confused as to what exactly prompted this impromptu draft.
Well, according to Deadline, Waithe is bringing an all black errthang story and production to the silver screen. The film is called Queen and Slim, and the 34-year-old penned it based on an original idea and treatment by author James Frey.
Not only is the screenwriter a black woman, but the director will be as well. The film has snagged Master of None and Insecure director Melina Matsoukas. This will be the first feature she has ever directed, and lucky for her, she will be working with Academy Award nominee Daniel Kaluuya, who has been cast in the male lead role.
Queen and Slim is about a black man and a black woman who’s first date goes left when they are pulled over by a cop at a traffic stop. The pair kills the cop in self-defense, so instead of turning themselves in, they go on the run.
The film hopes to peel back the layers of how America’s political and racial lenses effect the black community. What I find most intriguing about the premise is how the male lead and the female lead will fall in love during such chaos. Is that even healthy? Is it a reflection of what bonds black men and black women today?
“To me this is protest art,” Waithe said in a statement. “It’s about being Black and trying to fall in love in a world that’s burning down around you.”
Said Matsoukas: “It’s a film that defines Black love as a revolutionary act. It shows that our union is the greatest weapon against the assault on Black people in America.”
The jury is still out on who will play the female lead because they are casting for a “fresh face.” Whoever that is, better bring it because as Lena said on Twitter yesterday, “This is literally the blackest thing I’ve ever written,” and that’s coming from the creator of The Chi.
So, Ajayi, I see what you did there. Congratulations on such an amazing draft. Touché.
Renese spends her early mornings writing, her days securing insurance for TV shows, and her in-betweens blogging about the silliness and seriousness of life on her blog.
Follow Renese on Twitter: @reneseford