Devil in a Blue Dress starring Don Cheadle and Denzel Washington was a hit among critics and African American audiences. But the film, based on the Easy Rawlins mystery series penned by writer Walter Mosley, grossed just a little over $16 million at the box office. But it also spurred an HBO sequel, Little Scarlet.
The success of the book series has led many devoted fans (including this one) to beg for more movies based on the popular book series. Mosley explains in this July 29th episode of PBS’ Tavis Smily why this hasn’t happened.
Number one, it costs a lot of money to make a movie. Number two, when you talk about unconscious (bias), the unconscious center in America about racism is that racism is the same everywhere, and really, it’s different everywhere. So when people in Europe and Asia and India say they’re not interested in a movie about the ‘hood, distributors in America say ‘oh, people in the rest of the world don’t want to see movies about Black people.’ Well, no, they don’t want to see movies about the ‘hood. But there’s all kinds of other movies that could be made. And so whenever I say I want to do this movie, somebody comes up to me and says ‘well, you know, we can’t sell it in England.’ I say, well, the English came up to me last month and asked ‘can we make an Easy Rawlins movie?’ So how can that be true. They just don’t want to talk about it.
Mosley, who appeared on the show to discuss his newest and 14th Easy Rawlins installment, Charcoal Joe, said the flawed notion that global audiences aren’t receptive to movies about Black people has become less troublesome for him over the years as he is now more interested in a television deal.
The prolific writer of crime fiction novels and several science fiction books wants to team-up with Josh Boone, who most recently directed The Vampire Chronicles, X-Men: The New Mutants and The Fault in Our Stars, to produce a TV series. “Maybe that’ll happen,” Mosley said.
Here’s a segment of tonight’s Tavis Smiley Show: