While many may see the massive success of “Black Panther” as a turning point for Black representation in Hollywood, Samuel L. Jackson is not in that group.
“I’m not positive that ‘Black Panther’ is going to change the dynamic of Black stories being told in Hollywood and being accepted all over the world,” he said to Vogue Arabia. “It’s an action-adventure story and a lot of people like those, and they’ll work all over the world forever because everybody loves a hero.”
Yet stories like those told in the Taraji P. Henson-starring “Proud Mary” don’t fall into that category and thus, they don’t receive the same audience support — or in the case of “Proud Mary,” studio support — that other films do. A glimpse of the films that have been released since
“But not everybody loves a drama about somebody’s life experience – that’s why awards have a separate category for foreign films; they are perceived as being different,” Jackson continued. “Once we stop perceiving them as different and just see them as good films and they get recognized in the same category, we’ll be laying markers.”
One film that Jackson sees as a good is 1971’s “Shaft,” which he described as being “part of our Black film anthology” When Jackson took on the role of the Richard Roundtree character’s nephew for 2000’s “Shaft,” the remake of which, “Son of Shaft,” just wrapped filming, he was adamant about it not being an action comedy.
“When we started the film, the producers wanted to make an action comedy, and I told them that you can’t make John Shaft a comedic character,” he said. “He can be funny, but he has to be strong, dynamic, and charismatic in all the ways that he was because he is part of our mythology… He was a hero and one of the first people we saw to be that kind of a character.”