PASTE MAGAZINE: MJW on Living the Black Dynamite Life and The Outlaw Johnny Black
And when we say “massive,” that’s no hyperbole. Michael Jai White’s online following is huge, spread across a network of highly engaged social media profiles. The guy has almost 5 million Facebook followers, comparable to most of the cast members of The Avengers. He has the same number of followers as the official page for Seinfeld, and a million more than Chris Pratt.
Think about that for a second. Michael Jai White, of Black Dynamite, has 25 percent more Facebook fans than the star of Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World and The Lego Movie. That’s how popular the actor is among consumers of independent action films and bone-crunching martial arts movies—he’s nothing less than royalty in that world.
And now, the time has come for White to reach out directly to that fanbase in the making of The Outlaw Johnny Black. The director’s first crowdfunded feature just kicked off its IndieGoGo campaign, seeking an eye-popping $2 million for the film’s production. Described as a spiritual (if not direct) follow-up to Black Dynamite, it takes similar aim at black ’70s westerns such as Buck and The Preacher, with more than a little Sergio Leone thrown in for good measure. It’s the payoff to a long-awaited concept that White conceived more than a decade ago: A trilogy of interconnected ’70s film parodies, each of which would feature the same cast but tackle a different genre.
“This one will be paying loving homage to the blaxploitation-era westerns…
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By Jim Vorel | Photos via Jaigantic Studios