Issa Rae's "Awkward Black Girl" is the First Big Move Of a Future Black Star
Earlier this year PolicyMic pundit Sarah Dropek told us to "keep a close eye" on talented creative artist, actress, and writer Issa Rae's next step as she made plans to film the third season of her hugely popular and award-winning web series The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl. At the time, Dropek hoped that Rae was correct in her prediction that the Internet would provide opportunities for "niche communities to find content and for niche creators to find their audiences."
Rae's perseverance and Dropek's faith has been rewarded. Rae, whose star was already on the rise as evidenced by her Facebook following of 90,000, a Twitter following of over 48,000, a You Tube channel that has had over 14 million viewers, and a place on Forbes's "30 Under 30" list, has signed a production deal with HBO. The deal will bring the web series to television with Rae in a starring role based on the web series character. Rae will share writing and executive producing duties with Larry Wilmore, the creator of The Bernie Mac Show and a contributor to The Daily Show.
Vibe magazine reports that the HBO project, entitled No Prophet, may have similarities to the web series, but because of the involvement of Wilmore will not be a complete rehash.
The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl follows events in the life of "J," a socially awkward, black female nerd, and is based on some of Rae's life experiences. "A lot of episodes are just exaggerated versions of my own experience. I make the character go through experiences that I would hate to go through," Rae told fastcocreate.com.
The busy Rae has also signed on to play legendary jazz artist Nina Simone based on the biography written by Lorraine Hansberry, the award-winning writer of A Raisin in the Sun. In addition, she has developed a pilot for ABC, I Hate L.A. Dudes, which she co-created with Shonda Rhimes, the creator of ABC's Scandal and Grey's Anatomy, and she has a deal with HarperCollins to publish a memoir/collection of personal essays.
In an interview with Vulture.com, Rae said of the collaboration with Rhimes "I really do hate them. I hate the guys. I hate the mentality they have. Everyone's so chillaxed, the way they speak and carry themselves."'
No release dates have been published for any of Rae's upcoming projects, but stay tuned because Rae appears to be the next multi-dimensional star in Hollywood.