Some worthy-sharing revelations from Brit renaissance man, Noel Clarke, lifted from an interview he did with Den Of Geek, while doing pressfor his latest film, The Knot, which opened in the UK over the weekend.
First, recall the project that would be set in the world of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts for the uninitiated), which he announced last year, with plans to direct and star (he'd been working on the script for 2 years, he said at the time).
The film, which was to be set in both in the UK and the US, was to be "in the vein of The Wrestler, The Fighter and Rocky," described as a "character driven film about a down on his luck MMA fighter who gets drawn further into the sport than he would have liked."
Of course, Clarke would play the lead, starring alongside stars from the real MMA world. He planned to start working out to pack on some lean muscle to his lean frame.
So where is that project now?
It stalled. It became too expensive to finance… [Warrior] didn't do so well, and they were like if he can't do it, how are you going to do it? I could rewrite it for a lower budget, something I'm not against doing, but I'm busy right now. So that's on hold. But there are other things, I'm always up to stuff. But again, just trying to do different things, trying to create a brand. I'm trying to do that as well.
In essence, don't hold your breath, because it may not happen – at least not anytime soon… assuming you were even anticipating it.
Secondly, we've already reported on his desire to break into Hollywood, and make a name for himself, in much the same was as he's done in the UK, and previously said that his fans had been lobbying for him to play Black Panther, the Marvel superhero.
Den Of Geek asked him about that, but more broadly, about his interests in expanding his brand beyond the UK, and this is what he had to say:
There are plans, there are plans to go overseas, 100%. There are two or three scripts now that are starting to get set up, and three out of four are set abroad.
And about the Black Panther movie, and whether he's talked to Marvel about it:
They’re not interested, man. I’ve tried everything. I’ve offered to write the film, they’re not interested. Obviously I’d love to play the part, they’re not interested. I wanted to write Black Lightning for DC, they’re not interested. I’ve tried. I want Supergirl, they’re not interested. They’re just not interested.
So, uh, I guess what you're trying to say Noel is that Marvel's just not interested?! Interesting… I would've loved to be a fly on the wall during those conversations, to hear how exactly they went on.
Unfortunately, Clarke doesn't reveal anything more than "they're not interested." But at least he's being proactive, taking matters into his ow hands, instead of waiting to be approached, which may not happen otherwise.
But Marvel has been dragging their heels on this Black Panther movie for years now, so, it'll take a lot more than Noel Clarke to move the needle. He's big in the UK, but still practically unknown here in the USA, and really much of the rest of the world. I couldn't see Marvel going with him for Black Panther.
As for writing it? Well, I can't say that there's anything on Clarke's resume that makes me confident that he's the guy to write the script for a Black Panther movie; granted I haven't seen all his films. But I've seen most of them.
And what's this about Black Lightning (one of the earliest Black superheroes) and Supergirl?
Can't knock his hustle though. He's almost as prolific as Tyler Perry, with at least 3 movies out in UK theaters this year. And he does say, because Marvel and DC aren't interested in his working with them on their superheroes, he's created his own.
I have done, I have done. I’ve written a superhero movie, it’s sitting on my laptop, much like many of my other films. Again, it’s not expensive, but it’s too expensive for anyone to take the risk.
What that superhero movie is, he doesn't say.
This certainly won't be the last we'll be hearing from Noel Clarke. He co-stars in 3 upcoming films that'll are scheduled to be released in 2013, none that he wrote or directed; so expect announcements of Noel Clarke-branded projects squeezed between those 3.
You can read the full interview HERE.