By Brittany Turner AB '10
Reginald Hudlin AB '83 is a television and film writer, director, and producer whose film MARSHALL, about the first African-American supreme court justice, premieres in theaters October 13. His Harvard VES thesis film, House Party, was the basis for the breakout teen comedy that launched his career in the 1990s. Since then, Hudlin has directed and produced films like BOOMERANG, BEBE’S KIDS, and DJANGO UNCHAINED, and TV shows like THE BERNIE MAC SHOW, as well as a number of live awards specials and events. For three years, he served as President of BET Entertainment, overseeing the successful AMERICAN GANGSTER series, among others. Hudlin is also a lifelong comic book lover, and wrote many of the BLACK PANTHER series for Marvel Comics, as well as an award-winning run of SPIDER MAN.
Q. What made you want to get involved with MARSHALL and tell this story in particular?
A. I was always a Thurgood Marshall fan, always felt that he was one of the most underrated heroes in American history. I thought this would make an especially good movie because it’s a part of his life that we don’t know—we know about him as a judge, and fighting Brown vs. Board of Education—but this is a case that’s very lurid—sex, murder, mayhem, racial tension—and the audience doesn’t know the outcome. It had the makings of a really good legal thriller.Read more
Reginald Hudlin '83 (Writer, Director, Producer, & Former President of Entertainment, BET)
By Dayna Wilkinson
Growing up in East St. Louis, IL, Reginald Hudlin '83 found his story-telling voice early. "I wanted to do a parody of THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN called The Six Dollar and Forty-Nine Cent Man,” he says. "My aspirations weren’t necessarily high art at that time, I just wanted to do something funny and cool.”
He and his brothers were major comic book collectors and movie buffs. "Even before the term "independent” was really popular, I was always aware of other types of movies,” Reginald says. "We loved martial arts, so we were watching movies by Kurosawa long before most folks in the Midwest knew who he was.”
"I wasn’t even in high school, and I kept telling my brother Warrington, who was studying film in college, my film ideas. Then one Christmas he gave me a notebook with blank pages and said, ‘Here, write down your ideas in this.’”Read more