Variety has confirmed that Oscar winner John Ridley (American Crime, 12 Years a Slave) is partnering with Oscar-nominated producer Jason Blum (Get Out, Whiplash) to adapt Ridley’s comic book series, The American Way: Those Above and Those Below, into a feature film.
Ridley is set to direct the movie adaptation based on his six-issue monthly miniseries that was published in 2017 by DC Entertainment’s Vertigo label. Written by Ridley and illustrated by George Jeanty, The American Way: Those Above and Those Below acted as a sequel to their 2007 graphic novel The American Way. In the story, a team of 1960s superheroes was created and called the Civil Defense Corps, focusing on Jason Fisher’s the New American, a black man given super strength but a limited pain threshold while the rest of the corps is torn apart by racism and murder.
Ridley won the Academy Award for his screenplay for 12 Years a Slave. His other film credits include Ben-Hur, Undercover Brother, Three Kings, U-Turn, Red Tails, and the Jimi Hendrix biopic Jimi: All Is by My Side. He’s also known for his television work, including ABC’s American Crime, which he serves as showrunner and creator for, and the 1992 ABC News documentary Let It Fall, centered around the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
Blum is known for specializing in producing low-cost genre films such as Get Out, Split, and Truth or Dare, as well as the Insidious, Purge, and Ouija franchises.