*John Singleton feels very firmly about utilizing blackness.
He told an audience at LA Film Festival that negritude sells and said, “don’t be afraid to be black.”
He dished about blackness in Hollywood, his new biopic about Tupac Shakur‘s life and his new potential Showtime series about cocaine, “Snowfall.”
Singleton told the predominantly black audience to not be afraid of their blackness because black films are proven to go head-to-head with mainstream films.
“Everyone’s gonna copy our s–t anyway. I made the blackest Fast and Furious, I made Paul Walker say ‘cuz’ in the movie. I elevated it,” Singleton said. “You can’t front that [black films] don’t make money. I haven’t lost anybody money. People said, ‘12 Years a Slave,’ I don’t want to feel bad, oh, that’s a hard sell—$178 million, so what the f–k is commercial, you know?’”
He blasted black actors for not taking on non-violent or out-of-the-box films.
“They tuck their balls up under their ass to be accepted, you know what I mean?” He asked.
He added, “A lot of people were afraid to take that Jamie Foxx part in Django Unchained, but it’s Quentin’s most profitable movie, $425 million. It has negritude in it.”
Stanley Crouch introduced him to the concept of “negritude,” a literary and ideological movement developed by black intellectuals and artists from the Harlem Renaissance.
Singleton confirmed executives want to control directors.
“Yeah, that’s why I haven’t worked as much as I could’ve,” he said.
But Singleton is looking forward to directing the biopic on Tupac’s life and has been preparing by watching other biopics and movies driven by singular performances.
As for his TV work, he’s in talks with Showtime about a new cocaine series.
“I think they’re gonna take it. It’s set in 1981, before cocaine hit L.A. It’s in the hood, but it’s also in the Valley and East L.A. It’s about a courier for the cartel and a CIA guy who gets the government in the cocaine business. It’s got negritude, but it’s also La Raza, and there’s a ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ element in the Valley,” said Singleton. “I’m not just in a black bubble; I can tell different stories.”