Focus Features has set a March 22nd theatrical release date for The American Society of Magical Negroes, a satirical comedy marking the feature directorial debut of Kobi Libii, which stars Justice Smith (Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves), David Alan Grier (upcoming The Color Purple), and more.
Focus is distributing the pic in the U.S., with Universal Pictures International handling international. Set to open against it on the 22nd is Lionsgate’s Mark Wahlberg pic Arthur the King. The film tells the story of a young man, Aren, who is recruited into a secret society of magical Black people who dedicate their lives to a cause of utmost importance: making white people’s lives easier.
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Rounding out the cast are An-Li Bogan (After Yang), Drew Tarver (The Other Two), Michaela Watkins (You Hurt My Feelings), Rupert Friend (Asteroid City), and Nicole Byer (Nailed It!). Pic’s producers included Julia Lebedev and Eddie Vaisman of Sight Unseen, as well as Angel Lopez and Libii.
An alum of Sundance’s Screenwriters and Directors Labs, where he developed The American Society, Libii has most recently been seen writing and performing on Comedy Central’s The Opposition with Jordan Klepper. Other onscreen credits for the writer, director and actor include the shows Doubt, Madam Secretary, and Transparent, to name just a few.
Focus is currently in theaters with Alexander Payne’s dramedy The Holdovers starring Paul Giamatti, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and up-and-comer Dominic Sessa. Among other titles coming up for release through the company are Zelda William’s feature directorial debut Lisa Frankenstein, written by Diablo Cody, which is out February 9th, and Ethan Coen’s Drive-Away Dolls starring Margaret Qualley, Geraldine Viswanathan, and Beanie Feldstein, which hits theaters February 23rd.
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