For all you Love & Basketball fanatics, Gina Prince-Bythewood is the visionary behind that classic film staring Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan. Gina wrote and directed the film after working as a writer on shows like South Central and A Different World. Bythewood has gone on to direct The Secret Life of Bees and Beyond the The Lights.
Most recently, she directed the 2020 film adaptation of Greg Rucka’s The Old Guard for Netflix, starring Charlize Theron and KiKi Layne.[ She is the first biracial black woman to make a comic-book film. The film was very well received and now Gina Prince-Bythewood has been tapped to direct Silver & Black, a movie based on Marvel Comics characters Silver Sable and Black Cat.
Tyler Perry once said, “While everybody else is fighting for a seat at the table, talking about ‘#OscarsSoWhite, ‘ I said, ‘Y’all go ahead and do that. While you’re fighting for a seat at the table, I’ll be down in Atlanta building my own.’ Because what I know for sure is that if I could just build this table, God will prepare it for me in the presence of my enemies.”
No one can deny this man has definitely built his own table instead of begging Hollywood to except him at their proverbial table. From the stage, small screen, to the big screen, Tyler Perry has done it all as a director, producer, screenwriter and actor. The self-made billionaire is a shining of example of how it should be done. While some may criticize some his content, no one can knock his hustle and empire building legacy. We all know his claim to fame was the creation of the character, Madea, but Perry is so much more than that role. With several television shows currently running and a plethora of films and plays, under his belt, there is no stopping the force that is Tyler Perry.
Jordan Peele exploded on the scene as a director, after the success of his film Get Out. Although had previous success as an actor and comedian, the film was a critical and box office success. He received numerous accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, along with nominations for Best Picture and Best Director. He received another Academy Award nomination for Best Picture for producing Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman. Jordan Peele aslo directed, wrote, and produced the acclaimed horror film Us in 2019. He is the founder of film and television production company Monkeypaw Productions.
Jordan has been so successful and significant behind the lens that he now plans to leave the acting alone and focus on directing, producing, and writing. Peele has a brilliant mind so we should expect more greatness from him soon.
Spike Lee has been around forever so why is he even on this list. Lee is the on the list because he continues to make strides despite all of his accomplishments. We all know about ,School Daze, Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X, and his countless other films that will go down in history as cult classics.
From teaching at Harvard, directing Nike Commercials, throwing Michael Jackson and Prince parties, and directing movies in every decade since 1980, Spike Lee is still doing it and in a big way. Lee’s Vietnam war film Da 5 Bloods was released on Netflix. The film starred Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Mélanie Thierry, Paul Walter Hauser and the late Chadwick Boseman. The film was received widespread critical acclaim with the website Rotten Tomatoes’ approval rating being 92% based on 252 reviews, with the critical consensus reading: “Fierce energy and ambition course through Da 5 Bloods, coming together to fuel one of Spike Lee’s most urgent and impactful films. Spike is now partnering with other Black directors and producers to bring iconic films to the masses. Let’s appreciate Spike for the legend he is.