African History Y

American History X director Tony Kaye has another piece of history coming our way – African History Y. Specific details about the film are still under wraps, but we now know the project twill star Djimon Hounsou. Kaye had a notoriously difficult time making American History X, clashing with star Edward Norton as well as studio New Line Cinema. The filmmaker tried taking his name over the final film, but was denied his request by the DGA. Instead, he disowned the project, calling it a “total abuse of creativity.” He’s bound to have better luck this time, though…right?

Deadline has the scoop on African History Y, stating that Djimon Hounsou is set to star in the flick for director Tony Kaye. “Djimon and I met just after I did American History X,” Kaye said. “It was a cathartic meeting, and I knew immediately that he was an actor that I had to work with. The material had to be right, and thank God, now we have a project to work together on. The color cameras inside my head are ready to go to work in Africa.”

Hounsou added: “African History Y could not have come at a better time as I explore bringing more extraordinary African stories to the world. I’m excited to be working with Tony, and it’s somewhat pre-ordained that he and I have come full circle to work with each other.”

As for plot details, all we can say for now is that the movie is “a story of tragedy and redemption.” Charles Chanchori, Jason Corder, and Kaye are writing, while DeForrest Taylor, Marc Le Chat, Kaye, and Raymond J. Markovich are producing. I’m not sure what, if any, connection this has to Kaye’s American History X. But Kaye’s bad experience with that film is legendary. He delivered a 95-minute cut he was happy with, but New Line Cinema wanted something different. And so did star Edward Norton, who ended up sitting in on the editing process with Kaye. Accounts differ, but from Kaye’s perspective, Norton hijacked the film, and Kaye’s vision.

Kaye wanted to take his name of the project. He also took out expensive ads in the Hollywood press condemning both Norton and the studio. The entire event branded Kaye a “difficult” filmmaker, and after American History X came out in 1998, Kaye did not direct again until the 2006 abortion documentary Lake of Fire. In 2007, he expressed regrets for how he handled the American History X situation, saying: “My ego got in the way. That was entirely my fault…Whenever I can, I take the opportunity to apologize.”

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