What’s up, Contenders? Terry Malloy here reporting live from the Waterfront.
I’ve been totally sold on Michael Jai White as a leading man for several years now. I guess he re-captured my attention in BLACK DYNAMITE, which is fantastic, and White knocks that role out of the park. I went back and checked out UNDISPUTED II after that, and then his star vehicle BLOOD AND BONE. That trifecta was all I really needed to buy stock in Michael Jai White, and I think it’d be a mistake if Marvel somehow misses out on casting the guy in BLACK PANTHER, whether as the main character, or at least in the role of T’Challa’s father, the elder Panther if you will.
At any rate, White broke some news on his own Twitter feed today via Indiewire.com. White has signed on to play John “Falcon” Chapman, in what is intended to be the first film in a brand new action franchise starring White!
You can read the official description, titled FAVELA, from Moonstone Films below. My sense from the initial description is that these stories may take a lot of inspiration from the JACK REACHER series. White will play a wandering, highly trained ex-soldier who finds himself in Brazil for the very first adventure!
Perhaps even more exciting than the prospect of an action franchise for White is the fact that he’ll be re-teaming with UNDISPUTED II and III helmer Isaac Florentine, who put every dollar of those films onto the screen, and then some. Seriously, if you haven’t seen those sequels, they are incredible examples of what can be done in DTV action today. Hell, those two films are better than 90% of the action films that the studios are cranking out with budgets four times the size of the UNDISPUTED films’!
From Moonstone’s Website:
FAVELA - The first installment of our new FALCON action franchise. The franchise will revolve around former marine John "Falcon" Chapman, a dark anti-hero driven by guilt, who will destroy himself unless given something else to destroy - a useful weapon-of-last-resort for the foreign ministry. The first movie, FAVELA, sees Chapman traveling to Brazil to hunt down his sister's killers, in the process discovering an underground world of drugs, prostitution, and police corruption ruled by the Japanese mafia. Directed by Isaac Florentine and starring Scott Adkins as Chapman, the franchise will produce 1-2 movies a year following Chapman as he is sent to exotic locations to do the foreign ministry's dirty work.
What do you think, Contenders? Will White and Florentine be able to re-capture the excitement of UNDISPUTED II? Is there any chance that these films will find theatrical distribution? Does theatrical distribution even matter for a film like this?
And I’m Out.
Terry Malloy AKA Ed Travis
Undisputed II Photos: Courtesy of New Line Home Entertainment