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Nigeria’s Comic Republic Enters Production Deal to Bring ‘Ireti’, Other African Superheroes to the Global Screen

The company will see its slate of African superheroes adapted for film and TV.

Comic Republic, founded in 2013 by Jide Martin, is Africa’s largest independent publisher of comic books. The company has entered a production deal with Emagine Content and JackieBoy Entertainment to adapt its rich slate of African superheroes for both the big and small screen.

According to the companies in partnership, their goal is to “portray a positive global influence of Africa and negate previous misconceptions.”

Comic Republic’s slate includes African-based titles such as Ireti, the story of a university student in Ibanda, Nigeria, blessed with superpowers, Aje, a fantasy title inspired by Yoruba spirituality and mysticism, and The Vanguards, which focuses on an Avengers-style team of superheroes. In addition to global themes, the publisher’s titles are rooted in traditional African mythology, folktales, and culture.

According to Comic Republic founder Jide Martin, “it’s a great time to be alive. We are in a world where diversity has taken centre stage,” he said. “We are thrilled to be working with Emagine Content and Jackie Boy to bring our heroes and stories to the big screen but mostly because we get the chance to be a part of black history,” he concluded.

Emagine CEO Ben Phelps said about the partnership, “this deal is a major push towards diversity on the silver screen for black superheroes.” Phelps, who leads the L.A.-based group alongside the head of originals Kimberly Boyd, is also a producer on Into the Badlands and The Shannara Chronicles. He continued, “the time is now to showcase heroes of all different backgrounds…The ability to create role models for future generations to come is a unique opportunity that comes with an important responsibility to make sure the storytelling is authentic. For us, finding a partnership that is looking to be a disruptive force with good morals is everything.”

The third company in the partnership which made the deal happen is JackieBoy Entertainment, a Maryland-based entertainment group founded by music executive John Tillery. According to him, “JackieBoy Entertainment is excited to bring the three companies together and embark on this watershed moment in comic book culture, connecting the voices of African stories to universal themes for all to enjoy,” he said together with JackieBoy EVP EA Brown. “We look forward to working with the stellar teams of Emagine Content and Comic Republic to strengthen the alliance between African-based creatives and comic enthusiasts with genuine characters and storylines.”

First off the ground under the partnership is Ireti, described by the companies as the first “African female superhero.”

The deal between Comic Republic and its partners was first reported exclusively on The Hollywood Reporter.

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Stories about African and Black Entertainment in Diaspora with focus on Film | TV | Digital