John Ridley To Write And Direct Blumhouse Superhero Movie 'The American Way'

Having conquered horror, Blumhouse now wants to get in on the superhero game. 12 Years a Slave writer John Ridley will write and direct the Blumhouse superhero movie The American Way, inspired by the comic book series of the same name.

What's next for Blumhouse? How about a superhero movie? Deadline reports that the production company has hired John Ridley to write and direct The American Way, a superhero film adapted from Ridley's own comic book series (with illustrator George Jeanty) The American Way: Those Above And Those Below. In the comic, the government created a group of superheroes and supervillains in the 1940s, and used them to stage public spectacles. Here's the synopsis for the comic:

In 1962 Jason Fisher was given astonishing powers by the United States government–powers he used to defend the nation as the New American. He and his teammates in the Civil Defense Corps were real-life superheroes.

Except that it was all a fraud. A conspiracy. And now, 10 years after the CDC was torn apart by racism, infighting and murder, the Corps' surviving members find themselves pulled in very different directions. Missy Devereaux–a.k.a. Ole Miss–is transitioning from the First Lady of Mississippi into a candidate for governor and defender of a vanishing and hateful way of life. Amber Eaton–formerly known as Amber Waves–has become a domestic terrorist, using her powers to infiltrate and destroy the country's centers of power.

Somewhere in the middle stands Jason Fisher, who has remained a crime-fighter even as evidence mounts that he is accomplishing nothing besides propping up a system that's rigged against him as a black man in America.

In a nation being torn apart, what does it mean to fight for the American way?

Per Deadline, the film will use "superheroes to explore timely social issues including race and integration." "Part of what I want to examine are things that haven't changed in the last decade," Ridley said of the comic in 2016. "When we went into The American Way in 2007, it was before a brief era in American politics and American society where we aspired to be better, where we wanted to bring out the best in all of us and see our society move forward...In that 10-year space, we as a society have regressed in terms of how we frame ourselves, how we look at ourselves, how we believe in ourselves. We talk all the time about American exceptionalism. That's great phraseology, it's not just a birthright. We have to work towards it every day...Do we give into the worst of us or do we recognize that there is more inside of us that is greater, irrespective of extraordinary powers or abilities, just as people?"

The American Way isn't the only superhero project Blumhouse has in the works. They're also set to release the long-in-development Spawn reboot, which will probably hit theaters eventually. Maybe. And then there's M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable follow-up Glass, due out in 2019.