Currently in post-production on HBO’s Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas drama, “Confirmation,” Rick Famuyiwa has signed up to write, direct and produce a hacker thriller for Macro, the recently-launched next generation multi-platform media company founded by former WME Partner/Agent Charles D. King.
The film will follow “an unassuming and brilliant kid from New York’s projects who turns out to be the founder of a notorious hacker group. The self-taught coder finds a reprieve from his tumultuous life in the world of the dark web as he delves deeper into the subculture and makes a name for himself among his peers and the federal authorities. As a result, his friendships, family and loyalties back home are tested,” per Deadline.
I certainly dig the concept; it’s not often that feature films of this particular mold star black actors – especially young black actors – so I’m definitely intrigued. It also makes sense that Famuyiwa would want to do this as a follow-up to “Dope” – his critically-acclaimed Sundance hit that’s been celebrated as a kind of “black-nerd odyssey.” It could be something like a “Mr Robot” on the big screen – although maybe without the unsettling twists that come in the latter half of the series – starring an African American or black African actor.
Black cinema, as it currently exists, could use more seemingly *out of the box* stories like this for by black filmmakers, starring black actors in roles that rarely ever are assigned to them. And if it’s a mega success, maybe other “science” projects, like Spike Lee’s long-in-development “The Time Traveler” will receive the necessary funding.
King and Macro’s SVP Production Poppy Hanks are producing the film, which comes a month after it was announced that King had secured financing from Macro’s lead investor, Emerson Collective, founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, as well as from MNM Creative, a multimedia and entertainment company.
Also participating in the round of funding was digital media expert Michael Kassan’s firm Medialink – a strategic advisory and business development firm.
Other notable investors in the company include Wall Street Titan and MACRO advisor, Raymond J. McGuire, Global Head of Corporate and Investment Banking at Citibank, tech entrepreneur/investor Justin Yoshimura and Michael Kane, Managing Director of the Los Angeles based private equity firm Caltius Capital.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled with this incredible group of partners and investors. Among them, they represent some of the most boundary-pushing, innovative thinkers and leaders in their respective fields of technology, finance and media,” said Charles D. King. “Most importantly, these individuals ascribe to the global vision of MACRO and understand what a tremendous opportunity awaits us. Their endorsement enables MACRO to create universally themed premium content for the African American, Latino and multicultural market, which has been vastly underserved for too long.”
MACRO has lined up other projects from filmmakers Ryan Coogler and Craig Brewer (“Hustle & Flow”) that will be announced at a later date.
Launched in 2015, MACRO was founded by Charles D. King, former long-time partner at William Morris Endeavor (WME). The disruptive entertainment company is focused on premium content creation, distribution and engagement for African American, Latino and multicultural (ALM) audiences. King is the first and only African American to rise from the mailroom to partner in the 116-year history of WME. His career as an agent spanned over 15 years, during which he was known for his innovative deal making and his strategic planning in developing brands for and around his clients.
The executive and management team at MACRO includes Ronald Hohauser as Chief Financial Officer, Poppy Hanks as SVP/Development and Production and Michael Palank as VP/Digital and Business Development. Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix and Raymond J. McGuire, Global Head of Corporate and Investment Banking at Citibank, serve on the advisory board of the company.
MACRO’s headquarters are in the Kilroy Realty Sunset Media Center in the heart of Hollywood.
Go to www.macro.ventures for more information.