There is a lot of Black girl magic going around. This time, the movement is converging on the doorstep of the popular Instagram blog, The Shade Room (TSR). Insecure’s Issa Rae and Power’s Lala Anthony are joining forces with TSR founder Angelica Nwandu to work on a horror-comedy film called Juju.
Although the project is at the early planning stage according to Deadline, Rae and Anthony will executive produce the genre hybrid project that will be based on an original concept. The script will be written by a Sundance fellow for Universal Pictures. The horror-comedy film will be the studio feature directorial debut for Thembi Banks, also a Sundance fellow who has had directorial stints on Rae’s Insecure and Frankie Shaw’s SMILF.
This is not the only project on Banks’ plate. Her other works for Macro, SK Global and Baron Davis, Young, Wild, Free were put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This studio feature film is sure to put you at the edge of your seat because there are other maestros on board the project. Universal’s Senior Executive Vice President of Production Erik Baiers will oversee the project on behalf of the studio while Sara Rastogi does the same for HooRae. Deniese Davis will join the producers.
Nwandu has always wanted to be a writer. “I always knew I wanted to be a writer, even from a young age I found it extremely therapeutic and it got me through hard times,” she tells Forbes.
She wrote the 2018 film, Night Comes On, which The A.V. Club described as “prettified by plush, delicate lighting and lens flares” with “a tenuous grasp of tension.”
Like many before her, Nwandu’s journey to realizing her passion for writing hadn’t been easy. It was ruggedly stressful. Her foster parents advised her against pursuing her passion of being a writer.
They instead implored her to pursue a career in accounting—which she naively did until an opportunity availed itself to write a script with Jordana Spiro, reported Forbes.
“…the story mimicked my life so well as it was about a girl who lost her mother through domestic violence, something I truly believe was a sign from God,” Nwandu, born to Nigerian parents, recounted.
It was around the same time she started her celebrity blog TSR when she did not have enough funds to launch a website.
Within ten days of her first post, Nwandu’s Instagram account had 10,000 followers and at that moment, she knew that she was onto something. Celebrities started following the account and the engagement built up to a point where she had 500,000 followers.
Today, it is Instagram’s third most actively engaged account with 21.6 million ‘roommates’, reporting about celebrities, news, and popular culture.