Rick Famuyiwa is making Disney’s first African princess movie “Sadé” and we are here for it

Rick Famuyiwa

Disney’s catalogue of properties, especially its princess-y fairytales marketed towards children, have a heavy stroke of white characters as leads. Cinderella, Ariel, Belle, Aurora and, excuse the pun, Snow White. Much has been said about Shuri being a Disney princess in Marvel’s Black Panther, but this thread on Quora smartly dispels that idea. And perhaps a little ditty from Rick Famuyiwa might have something to say about this soon.

So we are left with a serious dearth of African princesses in the Disney/Marvel megalith. But not for long! According to Deadline, director of the 2015 drama Dope Rick Famuyiwa has been tapped to produce Disney’s developing project Sadé. Brace yourselves, because Disney is about to get really black in its sacredly white princess fairytale storytelling.

Based on an original idea pitched by Ola Shokunbi and Lindsey Reed Palmer, the duo who wrote the script for the 2017 short comedy film Break, Sadé will depict the ordeal of the titular Sadé, a young African princess who discovers she possesses magical warrior powers. Joined by the kingdom’s prince, Sade goes through a process of accepting the reality of her new abilities and uses them to protect her kingdom from the imminent threat of a mysterious evil force.

This is in the vein of Nnedi Okorafor’s fantasy novels, with central female characters endowed with powers. But I guess she’s presiding nicely over Marvel’s comics department. Sadé sounds like an interesting live-action addition to Famuiywa’s backlog. He is currently attached to direct a graphic novel adaptation Black Hole, as well as the Netflix-Keanu Reeves movie Past Midnight.

While his experience as a producer is mostly limited to a television tenure on Showtime’s The Chi, the Sadé project could become an important offering on Disney’s slate. We’ll bring you more updates as Sadé develops.

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