‘Fast Color’: Series Adaptation Set Up at Amazon with Viola Davis Producing

Julia Hart's 2018 sci-fi film will live on as a TV series, following a botched theatrical release.
"Fast Color" starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw
"Fast Color"

Amazon Studios is developing a TV series based on Julia Hart’s 2018 sci-fi film, “Fast Color,” with Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions executive producing, along with Hart and partner Jordan Horowitz via their Original Headquarters, as well as Mickey Liddell’s LD Entertainment.

According to Deadline, the series will follow Ruth, “a former drug addict and runaway, who returns home and rediscovers the special powers she thought she lost, powers that her family have long kept hidden from the public.”

Like the film, the series will feature three generations of black women who reconnect and rediscover themselves and their histories, when the realization that one of them could save the world, hits them.

Hart & Horowitz will write the pilot, with Hart directing.

After its world premiere at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival, “Fast Color,” the movie, received strong reviews but struggled to find distribution. In September 2018, Codeblack Films, the African American-focused arm of Lionsgate Entertainment, acquired the title — but in January, Lionsgate ended its Codeblack partnership. That meant cutting the film’s marketing budget and theatrical reach, leading to a dismal $76,916 in cumulative box office, after opening on just 25 screens on April 19.

When asked about the film’s botched release in an interview with IndieWire in June, as the film was quietly being released on home video, the film’s star Gugu Mbatha-Raw said the outcome was out of her hands. “There are all these factors that, as an actor you’re not necessarily in control of,” she said. “You just do your job as an actor and months or years down the line, the film comes out.”

However, she expressed optimism about the next phase of the movie’s life.

“I think it’s exciting that it’s now coming out on DVD, and will possibly have this whole other life of its own,” she said. “I believe there is interest in the film, which couldn’t have been released at a better time with the dialogue on women’s empowerment that has progressed since we shot it. And with the interesting conversation that has been raised around its release, I think that made people even hungrier to see it.”

A unique, introspective take on the superhero movie, “Fast Color” tells an empowering narrative in which three generations of strong black women come to terms with their special abilities. Hart’s film provides a welcome contrast to a genre dominated by white men; the movie delivers a maternal vision of heroism that’s out of this world. In superhero movie lingo, it’s an origin story, but more focused on family bonds than any world-shattering event.

As the rare motion picture, and now TV series, to center black women superheroes, “Fast Color” is immediately distinct.

The serial adaptation at Amazon is the second for Davis’ JuVee Productions, which has a first-look feature production deal with the studio. Also in the works is “Wild Seed,” a drama series based on the first book in Octavia E. Butler’s “Patternist” sci-fi series.

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