Bourgeois Brief: Ava DuVernay Signs On To Direct DC Comics Film, Junot Diaz Releases First Children’s Book, Moonlight Star Ashton Sanders Lines Up Next Big Role & More!
Your daily dose of art, news, and pop culture headlines, and a signal boost for creators of color.
Ava DuVernay Tapped to Direct DC Comics’ New Gods
Director Ava DuVernay has signed on to direct DC Comics’ upcoming superhero film, New Gods. The film details the intergalactic story of characters from two worlds—New Genesis and Apokolips. DuVernay is the first black woman to direct a DC Comics film. Her hiring comes at an interesting time as her current film, A Wrinkle In Time, debuted to both lackluster reviews and box office receipts. The $100 million epic has only grossed $42 million domestically since its release and failed to knock the 4-week-old Black Panther from the top slot. Find out more at EW.
Junot Diaz Releases New Children’s Book, Islandborn
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz has returned to book shelves with his first children’s release, Islandborn. The book tells the story of Lola, who struggles to remember her birthplace after settling in the United States. Diaz wrote the book after his goddaughters requested a children’s book from him. However, it took him more than 20 years to write and release it. “I have a picture of them when they asked me and a picture of them when they got the book, and it’s embarrassing!” he said during an appearance on CBS This Morning. To find out more about Islandborn, visit Complex.
Moonlight’s Ashton Sanders In Negotiations for Native Son
Breakout Moonlight star Ashton Sanders is in final talks for his next major role. Once finalized, he’ll join the cast of Native Son, the film adaptation of Richard Wright’s novel. The adaptation is set in modern-day Chicago and follows the story of Bigger Thomas, a 20-year-old black man living in poverty. A24 has secured rights to the book, conceptual artist Rashid Johnson will direct, and Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan Lori-Parks wrote the screenplay. Get additional details at Variety.
Tichina Arnold Joins Cast of CBS Comedy Pilot
Tichina Arnold, of Martin and Everybody Hates Chris fame, has joined the cast of an upcoming CBS pilot titled Welcome to the Neighborhood. She joins Cedric the Entertainer. The sitcom follows the story of Dave (played by Josh Lawson), who relocates to Pasadena, California from the Midwest and finds it difficult to adjust. Read more at Shadow and Act.
Elizabeth Acevedo Debuts First Novel, The Poet X
Dominican author Elizabeth Acevedo recently released her first novel, The Poet X. She crafted the HarperTeen release as an ode to Afro-Latina girls. The coming of age story focuses on Xiomara, a Dominican teen who finds her voice through slam poetry. Acevedo sat down with VIBE to discuss the book and her inspiration. Read the full interview here.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…
Get to know Love, Simon’s Natasha Rothwell [EW]
All the pop culture references from Atlanta Season 2 [Vulture]
Atlanta Season 2, Episode 3 reviewed [Billboard]
Food for thought
Hip hop is the dominant genre of the streaming era, and some of its biggest young stars have pioneered an interesting development—the super short rap song. Pitchfork’s Sheldon Pearce explains:
In recent years, streaming has reintroduced the extra long pop album as a way to game the system, and the tactic has no shortage of disciples in hip-hop (just ask Drake or Migos). But streaming’s playlist economy and social media’s algorithm-fed content conveyor belt have ushered in another effect on the next wave: the short rap song. From “Gucci Gang” to Trippie Redd’s “Love Scars” to 6ix9ine’s “Gummo,” more and more rap hits are under two and half minutes long, ostensibly to placate the shorter attention spans of young listeners online—or as a result of being made by those young listeners.
Read his full piece here.