Now, as an avid lover of Nollywood, I can wholeheartedly say that Nigerians can do drama. Sometimes they don’t do drama well but darn it, they can do it.
However, what certain filmmakers in Nigeria need to shy away from for the foreseeable future is special effects.
Over the past five years or so, in the West we have seen the resurgence of feature films starring our favourite childhood comic book heroes. DC Comics and Marvel have not only hit our cinema screens but the likes of Channel 4 brought Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.EL.D to UK television screens and Netflix even devoted a few originals to the superhero cause. With more and more details of The Black Panther emerging, it’s safe to say that the film is going to be BIG and the hype is going to be HUGE. Superheroes are here to stay.
So when is Nollywood going to come in for a slice of the pie? We have ‘succeeded’ in crafting many popular Nollywood films based on international celebrities even though the storylines have no bearing to the original subject (see the classics Beyonce and Rihanna). And there have also been one or two attempts at action films over the years. They haven’t been great either. But complaining misses the point. Trying things out leads to innovation.
So what about the superhero scene? The only hero that featured in Nollywood films ten years ago was the one in the sky and those films always ended with #ToGodBeTheGlory.
More recently however, filmmakers on the continent have been getting closer to the superhero genre. They’re flipping genders, vowels, cars… and some of the films aren’t that bad.
‘Juju’ is one thing and we all loved a good witch doctor back in the day but Peter Parker’s radioactive spider was just about believable. WHAT is this?!
First she’s saving a bus full of people, then suddenly it’s a car and she DESTROYS it.
There’s just so much that could be said here. Nollywood’s capacity is vast but let’s be honest some things are better left alone!
Yet there are some cases where people will take an original and make it their own, the storyline is the same but the spelling is… ours!
Whoever did this is a genius:
Doesn’t cut it!
Hany klue what’s going on?
*Thankfully this isn’t actually a Nollywood movie, but it’s hilarious and something that I can see being done at some point in the future.
A filmmaker by the name of Nosa Igbinedion first fused the traditional with the contemporary in the form of Oya: Rise of the Orisha. He has used the Orisha mythology of the West African Yoruba tribe to contemporise these ancient deities and turn them into modern-day superheroes!
Now he has succeeded in producing a brilliant short film:
Nosa has since made incredible progress. In addition to also rolling out a comic book series, this team have landed Esosa E from the popular series ‘An African City’ as leading lady and veteran actor Tim Reid (yes the Tim Reid as in Ray from Sister Sister) as executive producer in the upcoming film Rise of the Orisha. When you’ve got Beyonce giving airtime to Yoruba deities (see Sorry in her new visual album Lemonade) you know there’s a market for it, and with this level of talent, you know the film which is set to be the first in a trilogy of films, will be EPIC!
African superheroes… and in my biased opinion… Yoruba ones ROCK!