Chris Rock burst back into the national consciousness with his highly-controversial Saturday Night Live opening monologue, where he made light of things like 9/11 and the Boston Marathon Bombings. The standup legend also directs and stars in the well-regarded film Top Five, which will be released in about a month.
In a profile for next week’s New Yorker, Rock discusses what he’s eyeing for his next movie project:
“Rock has been reading about Nat Turner, and he believes the time might be right for a bio-pic that tells Turner’s story in all its complexity. ‘Nat Turner’s a fucking nerd,’ Rock said, with admiration. ‘He gets taught to read and write by his white massa, and he gets sold, and now he has to go out in the fields like everybody else, and he’s so not equipped for this shit.’
He liked the idea of Turner as a snob who became a revolutionary only after getting the snobbery beat out of him. ‘Nat Turner had the worst attitude,’ he said. “He was worse than the white guys! Then he gets put out there. It’s, like, ‘Oh, shit! Everything I’ve been taught is bullshit!’ And he organizes guys and has this bloody fuckin’ takeover.’ Rock had an onstage gleam in his eyes. ‘I’d love to do that movie,’ he said.”
For those who need to brush up on their history, Turner was a slave in early 1800s Virginia who led a massive slave uprising in 1831. A highly-educated man, Turner organized a militia of slaves that killed 60 white men, women, and children, before Turner was captured and hanged. The uprising led to even further tightening of laws around the education of slaves, and its morals still remain a hotly-debated topic even today.
So, would a Chris Rock/Nat Turner movie be a comedy? It’s kind of hard to imagine, but for someone once called “the Nat Turner of comedy,” Rock could be the one to pull it off.
[via The New Yorker]