Last year when I was reviewing the campaign for Marshall I was a bit surprised to see it was directed by Reginald Hudlin. That was a name I realized I hadn’t really caught in a few years. Looking into what he’s been up to a bit yielded an even bigger surprise: That he hadn’t directed a feature film 15 years. He hasn’t been idle, directing a lot of TV in that time, but here was one of the brightest, most promising directors of the early 1990s and he can’t get a feature gig? It was an important reminder that while we are absolutely having a necessary conversation about the opportunities given to women we also need to be mindful that men and women of color are often shut out of “mainstream” entertainment opportunities as well.
Since I didn’t get to it at the time around Marshall’s release, I’m taking this opportunity to correct and oversight and look at the trailers for Hudlin’s feature directorial work. While the movies may not always be revered as classics, he certainly had a knack for quick-witted comedy, though he was too often asked to try to serve a trend or movement Hollywood was trying to make happen despite all logic. Thankfully he seems to be gaining a bit of theatrical momentum, with last year’s Marshall and the news he would be directing Shadowman, an adaptation of a Valiant Comics character. So using that as an excuse to take a look at the director’s history to date, let’s dive in.