What The Hell Happened To John Singleton?


He debuted in 1991 with one of the films that defined an era. His follow ups were not quite on the same level. But they were ambitious and showed that the talent was still there. Then he took to making films targeted at the popcorn crowd that seemed anonymous and lacked the depth and personality of his earlier films. Today, he’s more or less a director-for-hire making films in the Fast And The Furious series and Taylor Lautner movies.

What the hell happened to John Singleton?

Singleton was born on January 6 1968 in South Central (now South) Los Angeles. His early life in this crime ridden area of LA would impact much of his work.

After seeing Star Wars at 10, Singleton began thinking about a career as a filmmaker. Upon graduating from high school in the late 80s he enrolled in the Filmic Writing Program at The University Of Southern California. His teacher was Margaret Mehring who also taught many other writers including Stephen Chbosky who scripted the film adaptation of Rent and wrote and directed The Perks Of Being A Wallflower from his own book. While in school Singleton wrote several scripts (including Boyz N The Hood) and won a few writing awards.

Upon graduating in 1990, Singleton was getting offers to buy the Boyz script. One offer came from Columbia Pictures. Singleton agreed but with a condition: he had to direct the film.

Singleton had seen many black films helmed by white directors that were quite simply awful. This was a script based on his own life experience and he wasn’t about to hand it over to someone who had no idea what the nuances of this story where or how to get them to the screen. Impressed by his determination, Columbia agreed.

Boyz N The Hood was released in July of 1991.


At first greeted with fear of violence due to its uncompromising look at life in America’s inner cities, Boyz went on to become a hit with both audiences and critics. It came in on the heels of a “black film renaissance” that had theoretically been brought on by Spike Lee’s breakthrough in the late 80s. It went on to become one of the defining films of that era, one that introduced hi-hop and street culture to mainstream America that wouldn’t normally buy an NWA or Ice-T album. It launched Cuba Gooding Jr‘s career. proved that Ice Cube had screen presence as well as microphone presence and moved Laurence (then Larry) Fishburne from supporting player to more prominent roles (although Fishburne was and remains primarily a character actor).

It also got its writer/director two Oscar nominations: one for best Original Screenplay and one for best Director.  This made him the youngest Director ever nominated for an Oscar (he was 20) and the first African-American. He didn’t win either one (this was the year that Silence Of The Lambs swept the Oscars). But the exposure helped get him even more recognition.

As he moved on to his sophomore effort, Singleton joined the ranks of John Landis and Martin Scorsese as filmmakers who directed music videos  for the King Of Pop.

He helmed the video for Michael Jackson’s 1992 single “Remember The Time”. I’d wager that most people within 5 years of my age either way remember that video which featured Eddie Murphy. If you need a refresher here it is:

Singleton released his second film Poetic Justice in the summer of 1993.


Posted on February 4, 2014, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Director and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 58 Comments.

  1. First, let me welcome our newest contributor at Le Blog. Jeffthewhildman posted some great ideas for the Betrayed by… series. The series was essentially What the Hell Happened for directors. I have long intended to continue the series, but never had the time to devote to it. I frequently get requests to write WTHH articles about directors. But again, due to time constraints, that wasn’t going to happen any time in the near future. Jeff’s insightful comments made it clear to me that he was the right guy for the job. Jeff agreed to come on board and take WTHH in a new direction – What the hell happened to the directors? I’m very excited to see what he has in store for us. I think everyone will agree that with this article, he’s off to a great start.


    • Thanks! Got a few possibilities in mind for this series.


      • As long as you guys don’t violate the terms of WordPress (which I’m not remotely worried about) you have the keys to the kingdom. Do whatever you want. I’ll probably do a little proof-reading/editing/linking when I read your stuff. But the content is 100% up to y’all.


  2. I really like the WTHH to directors idea, I may steal it if I have a good one come to mind. Many directors have fallen off and become journeymen and directors for hire.

    I feel like Singleton got exposed as a one trick pony. When he tried to break out of “black” or “ghetto” stories he had little success, or found that the film going audience sadly doesn’t want too much of that. He then retreated back into the same genre, to lesser results throughout his career. I compare him to the Hughes Brothers, whose Menace II Society came out around the same time and may have ridden the Boyz hype. But the Hughes brothers are still working, and have broken out of that trope. Book of Eli shows that they can be working black directors that don’t have to tell a certain kind of story. While I don’t love Broken City, I feel like they’ve maintained more of their artistic integrity than Singleton.


    • I agree.

      I see a difference between actors and directors. Especially auteurs who are writing and directing their own movies. A lot of directors only have so many stories in them. Eventually, they either run out of personal stories to tell or their success causes them to loose touch with what made their movies identifiable in the first place.

      For actors, who have less control over the project as a whole, I feel like this is less of a factor.


      • Agreed on this part especially:

        “A lot of directors only have so many stories in them. Eventually, they either run out of personal stories to tell or their success causes them to loose touch with what made their movies identifiable in the first place.”

        Right. A lot of times, it’s that they lose touch with life as most people live it. The life that inspired so many of their good movies. After a point, they start making derivative stuff or movies about other movies.

        Speaking as an aspiring filmmaker myself I once observed that even if I do breakthrough I’ll still live in Florida (or anywhere outside of LA), still have lunch at Wendy’s at least once a week, still play kickball with friends and still help out at the local library. I’m reminded of something William Friedkin once said: Once you take your first tennis lesson your career is over.


        • Yes, every director runs out of personal stories or inspiration to tell. After Raging Bull, Mean Streets, and Taxi Driver, even Scorcese ran out of personal stories. His movies no longer felt ripped from his soul. the difference is he has the talent to cultivate good scripts and do interesting things with them (tonally, cinematography, etc..) and coax excellent performances out of actors. That’s the hallmark of a great director. Good ones can at least put there stamp on things, or still make quality films (James Mangold, Gavin O’Connor come to mind). And then there are people like Singleton, Philip Noyce, etc. who are just manufactured directors. Once they get past whatever they were trying to do initially they have nothing interesting left to offer. Or are swept up by Hollywood and lose touch with everything that made them good.

          Wolfgang Peterson, Antoine Fuqua, and Paul Verhoeven would make good WTHH candidates


        • Yeah, but Scorceses are in short supply. How many directors are there that can stay relevant after they have run out of personal tales to tell? Very few. And the ones that do, (Woody Allen comes to mind) drift in and out of relevance as they struggle to find something new to say.

          For both actors and directors, I think there is a predetermined career arc. What goes up must come down. But I think for directors in particular, most are doomed to flame out once they have had some success. Outside of a handful of directors, you could do a WTHH about anybody who has ever had a hit.


        • Right about Woody Allen. Even ones like the Coen Brothers, Gus Van Sant and Roman Polanski have had stretches where they seemed to be falling out of relevance.

          And there are many from the last two decades alone who scored big with a promising first or second film.only to never really live up to that promise.

          Doug Liman (Swingers vs most of his subsequent output)
          Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects vs most of his subsequent output)
          John McNaughton (Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer vs most of his subsequent output)
          Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade vs most of his subsequent output)
          Justin Lin (Better Luck Tomorrow vs nearly all of his subsequent output)
          Karyn Kusama (Girlfight vs pretty much all of her subsequent output)
          Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko vs pretty much all of his subsequent output)
          Boaz Yakin (Fresh vs most of his subsequent output)

          And there are quite a few one-film wonders in both the independent and studio realms.Take Theodore Witcher who arrived on the scene in 1997 with Love Jones, one of the best recent romantic comedies. While not a smash, Love Jones did modestly well at the box office and has proved to have pretty good staying power. But Wicher was apparently not able to get any of his other projects realized and so after scripting a direct to video action movie he more or less left the business.

          Or on a larger scale, Kerry Conran. Conran debuted in 2004 with the big budget Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow. The film was neither a major smash nor a disaster of epic proportions. It didn’t immediately lead to a franchise. But it didn’t lead to studios going out of business either.

          Yet aside from talk about directing a movie version of John Carter (not the box office disaster from two years ago) Conran seems to have more or less dropped off the face of the earth.

          For a while I thought Patty Jenkins, who helmed 2003’s Monster which got Charlize Theron an Oscar for her performance as Aileen Wuornos, had too. I looked and found she’s done mostly TV since. At one point she was supposed to direct the second Thor film. But nothing ever came of it.


    • Agreed with the Hughes Brothers comparison. In some ways, it could be argued that Menace II Society has aged better than Boyz did. I also feel that their follow up Dead Presidents is an underrated film, only a few notches below Menace on the quality scale. After American Pimp they successfully branched out with From Hell.. They managed to transition into other genres more easily than Singleton. And they haven’t stooped to making a Fast and Furious or Taylor Lautner movie.

      Another black director who successfully branched out is Carl Franklin. But he’s not really an accurate comparison as he never really worked in the ghetto film genre. He started out working for Roger Corman, broke through in the early 90s with One False Move, followed that up with the underrated Neo-Noir Devil In A Blue Dress, crossed over with the Meryl Streep drama One True Thing, has done both ambitious (Bless Me Ultima) and popcorn films (Out Of Time). Sometime he’s missed. But he always tries for something interesting.


      • I have to admit I lost touch with Singleton after Shaft. I had no idea he directed Abduction. WTF?


        • What Went Wrong With Taylor Lautner’s Career:

          It only was about five years ago that Lautner’s bulked-up body made its big debut in The Twilight Saga: New Moon. That film grossed $710 million worldwide and fueled buzz that Lautner, then just 17, could be the next big action star. Weeks after New Moon’s release, Paramount set him as the lead in its big-budget Max Steel, based on the Mattel action figure. He also signed on to the fighter-pilot action movie Northern Lights for a reported $7.5 million.

          Soon after, Lautner dropped out of Northern Lights when he was offered the lead in Universal’s Stretch Armstrong project. Around the same time, he landed Abduction, Lionsgate’s action film directed by John Singleton; he was attached to Fox 2000’s sci-fi adaptation Incarceron; and he was offered the lead in Relativity’s David and Goliath project.

          So what happened? Insiders point to 2011’s Abduction, which was critically panned (it earned $82 million worldwide). After that, Universal put Stretch Armstrong into turnaround, and the leading-man offers dried up. “His first movie just wasn’t very good, and it didn’t justify what he was asking for at the time,” says one producer. He since has focused on smaller roles, recently wrapping the indie thriller Run the Tide and the second season of the BBC comedy series Cuckoo, allowing him to flex the muscles he’ll use in Adam Sandler’s Netflix film The Ridiculous Six.


        • Why Hollywood won’t cast Taylor Lautner anymore

          His first star vehicle bombed

          Lautner was the marquee name in 2011’s Abduction, and the movie didn’t do well at all. The film was critically panned, earning a measly Metascore of 25 and only scored four percent on Rotten Tomatoes. That wouldn’t be so bad if the box office numbers were better, but it only made $28 million worldwide, not even breaking even on its $35 million budget. An agent told The Hollywood Reporter, “His first movie just wasn’t very good, and it didn’t justify what he was asking for at the time.” And on that note…


    • Maybe John Singleton also feel into the same trap that Cameron Crowe ultimately fell into in that he ran out of interesting personal stories that he could tell. But at the end of the day, I do agree that Singleton was more then likely a victim of his own success. “Boyz ‘N the Hood” set the bar so highly for such a young director (and we don’t even have to go into how he was the first African-American to get a Best Director Oscar nomination), that of course anything that he did following that was inevitably going to be compared to “BNTH”. So when Singleton tried to branch out with decidedly more commercial movies like “2 Fast 2 Furious” or “Abduction”, people will naturally accuse him of selling-out or slumming it.


      • I do like “Four Brothers” quite a bit though (Sofia Vergara was in that film, as was Tarji P. Henson, back when they were pretty unknown).



      John Singleton. At 43, Singleton has a Hollywood career that many would kill for. Not only does he keep working, which is enviable enough, but most of his recent films have made money (including a Shaft remake and a Fast and Furious installment). But this is the man who, at just 23, directed the critically adored Boyz N the Hood and became the first African American ever nominated for a Best Director Oscar. (Even Spike Lee hasn’t yet accomplished this.) But the entitled young Singleton exhausted his Boyz momentum with several pretentious, unsatisfying follow-ups: Poetic Justice, Higher Learning, and the nearly career-killing Rosewood. Shaft marked the moment when Singleton abandoned his dreams of becoming America’s Greatest Black Filmmaker and retreated to safe, studio-sanctioned action flicks.


  3. Good article! By the way, Lebeau, how do you become a blogger on the site?


    • I don’t have a process for people to become contributors. Usually, I select people based on comments I like. When I see comments that border on articles, I think “This person has something to say.”

      I don’t add contributors all that often. I recently added Dave and Jeff. But prior to that, I added contributors at a rate of less than one a year.


  4. This is a comment on Singleton’s “Higher Learning” but NOT an “attack” on Singleton’s work as a whole (or even on him, really):

    [SPOILER ALERT} In the movie alert a [male] character date-rapes Kristy Swanson’s character. She’s understandably upset at him — he calls her dorm room to talk to her afterwards. Swanson’s [black] roommate answers the phone — if I recall correctly, she “runs interference” for her, basically saying “She doesn’t want to talk to you.” He gets agitated and uses the n-word at her. Swanson’s roomie takes umbrage at this and takes her [black] boyfriend to a party/gathering where the date-rapist frat-boy-type is in attendance. She points him out to her boyfriend who then teaches date-raping frat-rat the error of his ways.

    What bothers me is: This character [OR Singleton] seems MORE UPSET at the date-rapist for using a NASTY RACIAL SLUR than at the fact he violated her roommate!!! “OK, you sexually assaulted my roommate, that’s not nice, but then you used a racial slur at me?!? THIS calls for retribution!” Did this bother anyone else?


    • I haven’t seen Higher Learning in a while- but when I did I dislike a lot about it. I went to a university with a decent African American population- and I really didn’t remember the Neo-Nazis plotting against them. No Nazis at all.

      I also remember a scene where a group of tough blacks beat up the Neo- Nazis. It was obviously a scene that was meant to get an audience cheering- but since I think Nazis on campus is an entirely made up problem- it basically looked to me that Singleton wanted to show blacks beating up whites. A wish- fulfillment fantasy for discriminated-against blacks? Maybe- but still a bit disturbing.

      Singleton could have made a better movie- showing how difficult it is for blacks and whites to understand each other in a university setting. Instead- he gave us B- movie villains and violent solutions. Thanks for nothing.


      • Oh- this is also a movie that has a “message ” that is obviously tacked on to a larger movie that has the exact opposite message. It has a “we can live together” message at the very end- but revels in interracial violence throughout the film- and clearly makes the Nazis (subtle, eh?) the antagonists to the blacks-

        Basically its a popcorn movie for the inner city that is pretending to be Do The Right Thing. Its not- its basically an exploitation flick.


  5. I’ve liked quite a few of John Singleton films (I viewed “Higher Learning” on VHS in 1995 with friends without putting any thought into who the director was; I was aware during my second viewing), but “Four Brothers” is the last film he helmed that I enjoyed quite a bit. I think “Hustle and Flow” is fantastic, but that really isn’t a John Singleton film (I just wanted to mention that film).


  6. 10 Movies That Changed Your Mind About Directors You Hated:

    1. Four Brothers – John Singleton

    When John Singleton burst onto the scene with the seminal and viscerally affecting Boyz n the Hood big things were expected, but for whatever reason he spent the next 6 years or so working on poor follow-ups and with Michael Jackson. He did then enjoy something of a pick-up with Rosewood, but Shaft, Baby Boy and 2 Fast 2 Furious were basically dross compared to his debut.

    But then the formula worked again, just as it had for Boyz n the Hood with Four Brothers, the hard-hitting familial drama that helped prove that Mark Wahlberg really could act. Yes, it sagged at the end, but those first two acts are artfully, tightly constructed and the film is a slow-burning, tense affair that shows more maturity than anything Singleton made for most of the ’90s.

    Did It Last?

    One word: Abduction.


    • I really enjoyed “Four Brothers”; I viewed it numerous times when I had HBO (NOT Horrible Body Odor, but the premium channel).


    • 10 Most Underwhelming Summer Movies Of All Time

      2 Fast 2 Furious

      With Paul Walker the only cast member encoring from The Fast And The Furious, the makers of this sequel (easily the weakest in the franchise) went in a very different direction and served up a camp classic.

      What’s the last thing you expect to see in a movie where the female contingent is represented by Eva Mendes, Devon Aoki plus dozens of other “babes” in various stages of undress? How about Paul Walker and Tyrese Gibson tussling on the floor, their legs wrapped around their opponent, each one trying to dominate the other?

      That’s how guys “bond” in this movie when they’re not racing against each other or trying to take down a bad guy. Tyrese also loses his “blouse” at the drop of a hat, wrapping it around his fist so he can break a car window even though the door is unlocked.

      Even when he’s in the middle of a “hoasis” Tyrese’s character always seems excessively shy around women, preferring to take a step back and stand in the corner of the room making wisecracks. It’s a trait he carries through the sequels, where all the women – Michelle Rodriguez, Gal Gadot, Gina Carano etc – are tougher than he is.


  7. John Singleton on Sony Hack: Jokes by Amy Pascal, Scott Rudin Aren’t “Racist”:

    In the summer of 1991, I had my first encounter with producer Scott Rudin. We sat for a moment, making small talk, then he comes with it: “Well, the tracking this weekend says your movie is going to kill my picture, so I wanted to meet you and see who you were.” The pictures opening that weekend were Regarding Henry and my first film, Boyz N the Hood. Rudin and I had a short lunch, where I learned we shared a mutual love of theater and film and nothing else. He left promising we’d find a project together. How prophetic. Years later, he bailed me out of a $2 million development debt on Shaft at MGM. Scott took it to Paramount, where we made a huge hit.

    When Amy Pascal took the position of production president at Turner Pictures, one of her few jobs outside Sony, I called her and requested that she hire a black development executive. Pascal hired Damon Lee, sight unseen, on the spot. It wasn’t her first black hire: Her protégé, Stephanie Allain, had found my script for Boyz. Amy hashed out my deal over soul food at Aunt Kizzy’s Back Porch. I’ll always remember her saying, “Honey, if we make you a star, we want to keep you.” I signed a three-picture deal through her coaxing.

    Pascal’s and Rudin’s comments in the hacked Sony emails are troubling, but from my perspective they don’t read as “racist.” These two people have consistently hired people of color. They stand different from industry figures who would never hire a black person, no matter how qualified, for any position. We are currently in a polarized environment where offhand remarks told in bad taste get propagated to undermine a person’s whole history. This is a dangerous thing for America and especially for Hollywood, a media community built on bad taste and candor. When I read their comments, I see the humor, even if some people would find it unacceptable.

    I don’t think either of these figures is racist or insensitive to any group. I’ve butted heads with the both of them and came out feeling I was treated fairly. Rudin, as anyone in this business knows, can be a bear to work with, but he’s also one of the most intelligent, driven producers in Hollywood. Like the professor in Whiplash, he demands the most from everyone. I learned a lot working with him.

    Pascal and I made other pictures, and she was the first studio head to give me contractual final cut, the holy grail for directors. The success of our picture Baby Boy helped establish the financial precedent for Sony to continue making African-American-themed pictures and led to a whole new division, Screen Gems.

    I’ve been in this business for over 20 years now. And I’m pretty sure I have a rep — for better or worse — of calling it like I see it. The news headlines are dominated by stories built on race: the striking visual of Barack Obama, the first African-American president; a video of Eric Garner being choked to death by Staten Island police; the Hands Up/I Can’t Breathe marches; and Bill Cosby being accused of drugging and raping several women (most of them white). All of these real-world concerns are creating an atmosphere of fear. Fear makes people act irrational.

    What does this have to do with leaked emails?

    Everything. Does anyone recall the Salem witch hunt trials? Creative people and the facilitators of creativity cannot fully function in a fearful environment. Yes, mutual respect is needed, but who wants to kvetch over every word said even in private? There really is no privacy anymore in a social media culture.

    I’m sure everyone has conversations over email that they’d rather not have made public. But to hold a person’s whole life in question over flippant comments, made quickly without thought, is dangerous and un-American. HUAC anybody? Been there, done that. But then, again, Hollywood is sequel-driven.


    • Earlier in the year, he said this:

      “As part of “The Hollywood Masters” interview series, the director criticizes “so-called liberals” in the studios and adds: “You’ve got a lot of black executives at the studio who are afraid to give their opinion about what black culture is.

      “John Singleton criticized the major studios March 19 for refusing to let African-Americans direct black-themed films. “They ain’t letting the black people tell the stories,” the Oscar-nominated director-writer told students at Loyola Marymount University, expanding on a theme he addressed in a Dec. 18 Hollywood Reporter op-ed piece. “[Studio executives say] ‘We’re going to take your stories but, you know what? You’re going to go starve over here and we’re not going to let you get a job.’ The so-called liberals that are in Hollywood now are not as good as their parents or ancestors. They feel that they’re not racist. They grew up with hip-hop, so [they] can’t be racist. ‘I like Jay Z, but that don’t mean I got to give you a job.’ ”

      He added: “They want black people [to be] what they want them to be. And nobody is man enough to go and say that. They want black people to be who they want them to be, as opposed to what they are. The black films now — so-called black films now — they’re great. They’re great films. But they’re just product. They’re not moving the bar forward creatively. … When you try to make it homogenized, when you try to make it appeal to everybody, then you don’t have anything that’s special.”


  8. 10 Great Directors Who Haven’t Made Anything Good For Years:

    John Singleton

    1991’s Boyz ‘n the Hood is about as close to a perfect portrayal of life in the Los Angeles gang scene as it’s possible to get. It was unflinchingly honest, deeply personal, and showed a mainstream American audience a side to life in the country that they were largely in denial about. It catapulted the careers of its stars and made director John Singleton not only the first African-American to be nominated for a Best Director Oscar, but the youngest ever nominee.

    Since then, his career has been a long and depressing parade of bad project after bad project. His immediate followups Rosewood, Higher Learning and Poetic Justice attempted to hit the same nerves as Boyz ‘n the Hood, but both their stories and their presentation fell woefully short. Singleton even holds the dubious honour of being behind the worst film in the entire Fast and Furious franchise and takes almost as much blame as Samuel L. Jackson for the unbelievably bad Shaft remake.

    Singleton’s perhaps guilty of just setting the bar too high first time out, and telling a story that borrowed so heavily from his own experiences left him with a formula he’d never be able to repeat. His only saving grace since 1991 has been Abduction – a film so widely panned by critics that it’s kept Taylor Lautner from getting any major roles since.


  9. John Singleton Leaves Tupac Biopic Claiming The Studio Isn’t ‘Respectful’ Of The Rapper’s Legacy:


  10. Top 10 One-Hit Wonder Movie Directors:

    John Singleton is #7 on this list.


  11. Take the money and run with it: 11 directors changed by Hollywood success:

    John Singleton

    John Singleton burst onto the filmmaking scene with 1991’s Boyz N The Hood, a critical and commercial success that some thought would herald a second coming of the kind of personal, introspective, and dangerous black cinema that audiences hadn’t seen since the ’70s. Boyz N The Hood garnered Singleton a best director nomination (a first for a black director) as well as a nomination for his screenplay. Singleton’s next feature, Poetic Justice, while perhaps a little more romantic, was very much in the same spirit as Hood. But after that, things changed—Singleton’s third feature, Higher Learning, fails to reach the heights of Hood and Poetic Justice, instead sinking into a heavy-handed morality play similar to 2004’s Crash. And Singleton’s entire 21st century output, with the exception of Baby Boy, has been nothing more than Hollywood action trash. (Albeit enjoyable Hollywood action trash, especially in the case of 2000’s Shaft.) Perhaps because of Singleton’s lack of involvement in the writing process—or simply because it’s easy to cash that check—Four Brothers and 2 Fast 2 Furious are indistinguishable from any other B-list Hollywood action flick. More recently, Singleton turned in a Taylor Lautner thriller and an episode of the soapy Fox drama Empire, although he showed a little bit of that fire he displayed as a 23-year-old auteur when he said that studios are “refusing to let African-Americans direct black-themed films” while giving a speech at Loyola Marymount University. [Mike Vanderbilt]


  12. Bad Movie Beatdown: 2 Fast 2 Furious

    With the fifth movie coming, Film Brain takes a look at the second in the series.


  13. “Boyz n the Hood” director John Singleton not “worried” about white #Oscars


  14. John Singleton said “I got to be a part of this” when he heard about The People v. O.J. Simpson

    The Boyz n the Hood director, who reunited with Cuba Gooding Jr. on American Crime Story, says of directing the FX event series: “When they announced that they were going to do the show, I called up, and I was like, ‘I got to be a part of this. I lived in Los Angeles. I lived in these times, I was living when this was happening.’ I was really passionate about it, and we all hooked up. They said, ‘welcome aboard.’”


  15. John Singleton’s FX Snowfall drama undergoing major changes

    The 1980s cocaine-epidemic drama pilot, forcing reshoots and casting changes.


  16. Remember When “Booty Call” Outgrossed “Rosewood” At The Box Office 20 Years Ago This Month?

    …and the sh**storm that surrounded that? If you don’t, I’ll gladly jog your memory.

    Back in February 1997, there were two Black movies that were set for release around the same time.

    One was a film that was going to chronicle a tragedy that chronicled the ugliness of America which was forgotten () in the history books–a film that was supposed to remind folks of the promise that John Singleton had as a director since his previous film underperformed critically (in comparison to his debut):

    The other was a comedy about two horny guys that wanted to get laid on date night with a safe sex message that was supposed to be a vehicle for Jamie Foxx, on the strength of his sitcom doing well, and Vivica Fox, who was riding high off of the success of Independence Day and Set It Off as one of the hottest Blacktresses in Hollywood:

    Needless to say, folks expected the former to perform very well since it was the perfect time of year to shine a light on American history. When it flopped at the box office while the other movie did better than expected:

    Folks claimed everything from this being an example of “crabs in a barrel” because some Black people “would rather watch stereotypes than know their history” to other


  17. John Singleton Talks About Dropping Out Of The Tupac Biopic ‘All Eyez On Me’


    • John Singleton Tried to Re-Write Tupac Movie to Include Tupac Getting Raped in Jail + Scene of His Mom Having a Threesome


      • John Singleton Trashes ‘All Eyez On Me’, L.T. Hutton & Benny Boom –“It was worse than the Aaliyah biopic!”


      • John Singleton ‘All Eyez on Me’ Script Leaks Online

        “All Eyez On Me” filmmakers and famed director John Singleton are beefing over the version of the movie Singleton wanted to make — and now we have the script at the center of the feud.

        TMZ obtained several pages from a 2014 draft written by Singleton, and it includes a scene where prison guards lock Tupac in the library, and turn the other way while other inmates assault him. When you read it … there’s a clear insinuation Tupac gets raped.

        ‘Eyez’ producer L.T. Hutton referred to this scene while he was on “The Breakfast Club,” but fans were hesitant to believe it. For his part, Singleton has trashed ‘Eyez,’ and refused to see it because he “knows they f**ked it up.”

        The script, labeled “REVISION EIGHT,” also has a scene where Tupac watches his mother, Afeni, having “adult fun” with a man and another woman.

        We contacted the film’s producers, Morgan Creek, to authenticate the script. Marketing EVP Greg Mielcarz told us it’s “one of several versions penned by Mr Singleton while he was working with Morgan Creek.”

        Sources connected to Singleton tell us the script was an early draft, but everything he wrote was approved by Tupac’s mother. Singleton’s said in the past he felt Morgan Creek disrespected Afeni, and that’s why he dropped out of the project.


  18. For right now the enjoyable and controversial movie discussion and commentary show will be taking up residence here. On this channel.


    • The enjoyable and controversial movie discussion and commentary show has returned with this episode taking a look at the films of John Singleton. Andre & Jeff continue the discussion looking at Singleton’s more recent films SHAFT, FOUR BROTHERS, 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS, BABY BOY and ABDUCTED (Briefly)


  19. Taraji P Henson to star and produce a biopic about Emmet Till, directed by John Singleton


  20. Why Wesley Snipes’ Black Panther movie never happened

    Seeing Wakanda

    According to his recounting, Snipes was the only guy in the room who understood the opportunity to lean into the cool concept of a secret technologically advanced nation hiding in the heart of Africa. 

    “Many people don’t know that there were fantastic, glorious periods of African empires and African royalty — Mansa Musa and some of the wealthiest men in the world compared to the wealth of today,” Snipes explained. “That was always very, very attractive. And I loved the idea of the advanced technology. I thought that was very forward thinking.”

    Snipes brought the idea of a proudly Africa-centric Black Panther movie to John Singleton, one of the directors considered for the project, but ultimately hit a wall when it came to Singleton’s wildly differing vision.

    “John wanted to take the character and put him in the civil rights movement,” Snipes said. “And I’m like, ‘Dude! Where’s the toys?! They are highly technically advanced, and it will be fantastic to see Africa in this light opposed to how Africa is typically portrayed.’ … I wanted to see the glory and the beautiful Africa. The jewel Africa.”

    Courting a director

    At the time, the Marvel brand had only been used for a few movies — and they weren’t good. The 1989 The Punisher, 1990 Captain America and 1994 Fantastic Four films were all so notably bad that they didn’t even see theatrical release in the United States. So it really says something that Snipes and his Marvel cohorts courted the attention of some truly legitimate filmmakers for Black Panther. 

    “They were trying to find the young, up-and-coming black directors,” Snipes explained, and one of the filmmakers they turned to was Boyz n the Hood director John Singleton, who got as far as generating his own pitch. It would have been encouraging, had it not clashed fundamentally with Snipes and Marvel’s plans.

    “I laid on him my vision of the film being closer to what you see now: the whole world of Africa being a hidden, highly technically advanced society, cloaked by a force field, vibranium,” Snipes said. “John was like, ‘Nah! Hah! Hah! See, he’s got the spirit of the Black Panther, but he is trying to get his son to join the organization. And he and his son have a problem, and they have some strife because he is trying to be politically correct and his son wants to be a knucklehead.'”

    Ultimately, despite the disappointment, Snipes was able to see the benefit in parting ways. “I love John, but I am so glad we didn’t go down that road,” he later said. “Because that would have been the wrong thing to do with such a rich project.”


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