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Whatever Happened To The Much-Hyped Possibility Of A ‘Martha Washington’ Big-Screen Adaptation?

Whatever Happened To The Much-Hyped Possibility Of A 'Martha Washington' Big-Screen Adaptation?

Back in 2008, there was talk of bringing comic book/graphic novel legends Dave Gibbons and Frank Miller’s comic book character Martha Washington to the big screen.  Could it still happen?

Martha Washington first appeared in 1990 in the Dark Horse-published comic book Give Me Liberty, where her story begins in the squalid corridors of a maximum-security housing project, where a young girl will rise from the war-torn streets of Chicago to battle injustice in a world insane with corruption. She will be called a hero, a traitor, and nearly everything in between, but all along the way, her courage, her integrity, and her unwavering commitment to that most valuable of rights — liberty — will inspire a movement that will never surrender.”

Gibbons and Miller would revisit the character for the titles/series Martha Washington Goes To War; Happy Birthday, Martha Washington; Martha Washington Stranded In Space; Martha Washington Saves The World; and Martha Washington Dies.

What we know:

In late 2008, writer Miller expressed his desire to see his and illustrator Gibbons’ collaborative effort, the story of Martha Washington, get the screen treatment. MTV quoted Miller as saying, “It’s just a matter of finding the right venue, because ‘Martha Washington’ isn’t a movie, it’s a series,” he said. “It would have to be like 12 episodes to fit the whole story in. I would not let it be truncated.”  That got comic book fans buzzing, crossing their fingers in the hope that Miller’s dream would become reality.

What eventually happened:

Nothing, as far as I can tell.  In July 2009, it was reported that Miller’s top choice to play Martha Washington on film would be actress Rosario Dawson.  Public reaction to that news was mixed.  And there have been little to no new developments since that time.

So I’m now wondering if the project is dead, or if there is still hope that this popular female African-American comic book character’s story could one day be told on the big-screen (or maybe as a cable series?).  And if so, which actress would be best suited to embody Martha Washington?  Should they go big-name, or up and coming talent?  Here are a few of my own picks, in no particular order:

1) Kandyse McClure;  2) Shareeka Epps;  3) Lisa Berry;  4) Rutina Wesley;  5) Estella Daniels

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This could a great vehicle for HBO. They are looking for a their first comic adaptation and could stay close to source material. Rutina Wesley seems like she could pull off the character pysicaly but I haven’t seen her in enough movies to comment on her acting ablity.


How about Thandie Newton for this role?

Miles Ellison

The studio either couldn't figure out how to cast the latest white "It Girl" as Martha Washington or how to grotesquely caricature the character for any black actress that might be miraculously chosen to play the role.


The honest problem is that the Martha Washington character doesn't carry enough comic book weight to merit the budget it would take to make an animated movie or full length film good and marketable. I've been reading comic for well over 35 yrs and the truth is the only black characters that stand a chance are The Black Panther or Luke Cage! Hollywood has already destroyed the Storm character from the X-Men by casting Hally Berry when the wisest choose would have simply been to go get Iman Abdulmajid! She looks just like the comic character and would have been able to walk into the role a seamlessly as Patrick Stewart walked into the Professor X role. The bottom line is that very few black characters are created with the same enthusasim as white characters and their are very few that have grown and gained fans as strong as a character like Spider-man .

D. Fran

Did you do any reporting outside Google?


An animated series like the short-lived "Black Panther: The Animated Series" (?) would be Brillant!! Only better this time! The ability to fully follow the story of Martha Washington would only be limited by the director's and animator's imagination. The voice talent could be fantastic. Shoot, if Wonder Woman ( my second favorite Woman after Martha) could have an animated film, not to mention any Male Superhero, why not Martha Washington?

Eliza A

I would pick Danai Gurira for the role


How about a real bad ass black woman. Like the first black female to win a gold medal in boxing. Or go with a regular actress who will always be completely unbelievable as an action star. Only women believe women in action movies look tough and believable. Men just are turned on.

Katie G.

This role is perfect for Zoe Saldana. Have you seen her in a film called Colombiana?


Jasmine Burke would be a good choice!


I don't who any of these actresses are so I'm going by looks alone. My choices are Lisa Berry or Rutina Wesley.

Tau I. Robinson-Farrar

I'm being honest right now, I hope Frank Miller doesn't do anything with it. Like ever. This is because I actually want to buy the rights to it and make into an animated film short film before I graduate from college.

The first time I was introduced to Martha Washington was when I was in middle school. I was looking through some old comics that my grandmother's boyfriend tenant had left behind after he moved to another apartment. The minute I saw the fist volume of "Give Me Liberty" I feel in love with it. It was so strange and controversial. I had never seen a science fiction graphic novel about a African American before.

Humming Loon

That would be TOO awesome! This is a great series with great artwork. Martha is strong, but human and she does save the world. The entire series are also condensed into one collection making for a great seemless read.

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