The duo, which has not collaborated on a project since 2014’s follow-up to the Will Packer rom-com, will serve as producers on the project about a young Black witch in training. The project is through Union’s I’ll Have Another Productions and Henson’s TPH Entertainment, along with Effie T. Brown’s Gamechanger Films. Brown’s company secured rights to the novel on which the Black fantasy film will be based.
“Sorcerority,” written by Mikhail Sebastian and George Watson, follows the story of Melanie as she navigates the unfamiliar world in a “historically African American coven and university of magic.”
“Taraji and I have been looking for a project to work on together for a few years now and I’m excited to be partnering with her, TPH Productions, and Gamechanger Films on this project. I’m looking forward to bringing this graphic novel to the big screen,” Union said in a statement announcing the collaboration.
Brown, whose production credits include “Dear White People” and “Star,” expressed her excitement over the partnership. “This right here… YES!!! A dream team in the making,” she wrote. “Thank you @theonenamedwatson and @mythallica for coming up with such a badass opus! @gabunion @tarajiphenson – BEYOND THRILLED to mount this with you!!!” wrote Effie on Instagram.
This Black take on the world of witchcraft and wizardry offers a bit of mystery as well. “Melanie soon discovers her enrollment into the school may not be entirely of her own choosing, but rather the calculated actions of a higher authority,” reads a project description. “In between her studies, she uncovers her familial connection to the school’s mysterious past, as well as her pivotal role in its future.”
Henson hopes that the film will help expand on the variety of stories told for and by the Black community. “I created TPH Entertainment as a way to help push forward stories that better represent what our society looks like and to help share voices that may not have been given the opportunity to be heard,” she said. “Joining incredible, like-minded women like Effie and Gabrielle on this exciting adaptation is a thrill for me and I cannot wait to begin this journey with them!”
Black fantasy and sci-fi fans have seen an uptick in film and television stories within the genres over recent years. The massive success of shows and movies like “Luke Cage,” “Black Panther,” “Lovecraft Country” and “Watchmen” has shown Hollywood decision-makers that the interest — and, in turn, profit is there.