Mike Styles is a notable US film director and international fashion photographer. His credits include Spider Man and Transformers. In this interview with TONY OKUYEME, he talks about the expected bond between Nollywood and Hollywood, the biopic on Charly Boy, and other issues
Boy’s story so unique?
The fact that he had experiences both in the US and Nigeria where he is from. You know, he also lived in America, so he has a relationship with that part of it as well. And it’s having him come back for his political background, his views, his mindset, his thinking outside the box that drew my attention. When it was first brought to me, I got excited about it. So it’s something I want to do. So I want to tell the story. It’s based on his life; the things that he achieved; the things he has done, from American to Nigeria. And I come from America with African background, from being in this country multiple times. And so with all of that you want to create a great story.
You were in Nigeria recently for a press conference on the movie, and met with Charly Boy, perhaps for the first time. From your encouter with him, how would describe him?
He is focused. When he has mind set on doing something he does it. Charly Boy got to travel to America, live American life and do the things he wanted, even though his father may have an idea for him to do it the way that he wanted to do it. As I said, Charly Boy had his mind set on what he wanted to do, which was okay. That’s what I mentioned, thinking outside the box.
The story of Charly Boy, as a movie, cannot be complete, at least, without a mention about his fair share of racism while he was in the US. Are you also looking at making a statement in this particular area?
Definitely, we are going to say something about racism. I have no tolerance for racism. I’m from America. I’ve been through racism. I’m black. I’ve been pulled over by officers just because of my black skin.
Beyond the issue of racism, what other issues are being interrogated in this movie?
A lot of things. We are going to tell Nigerian history. Let me tell you a little piece of what the Charlie Boy is about. It tells us about when he was a kid, and he and several of his friends where playing like many kids. And all of a sudden, these planes come hovering over the top. And his friends looked at him at him started running…
Beyond the Charly Boy story it’s also a marriage between Hollywood and Nollywood. I’m aware that RMD is being considered to play a role in the film. I’m also aware that son of veteran actor, Denzel Washington, is also on the wish list for the role of Charly Boy…?
How will this unfold? We got a couple of different candidates that we have on our wishlist to play Charly Boy. One of them is Isaac John David Washington. He is very versatile, which is really great. For some reason I seen his father. Major after kind of doing some of the same things that is that on a different level like almost a double oh seven person intended when it was all suited up or ended up having to pull that off as an action person and he goes and does a similar type of movie like almost like Black Panther civil rights versus going against racism. Okay great actors there
In terms of time line, when is principal photography on this movie going to kick off. I am aware that on October 1st there will be a press conference in US. Can you shed more light on that?
It is a special thing but they weren’t everything that we have African, Americans are going to have different people are going to ask questions. We’re going to talk about that was so like the Americans in the postgame one of the most because we chose to do something I thought about when I was having a conversation I was talking to Skip. I was thinking like, we thought of Nigeria Independence Day and he said, Wow. October 1, and he was like, that’s amazing idea to do it on that day. It would add more meaning to it. It would add symbolism to the Nigerian- American merger. So we’re going to talk about things related to wishlist for the actors.
We are going to talk about Hollywood and Nollywood; we’re going to talk a little bit about the stories we might give later… We are going to talk about the relationship that we have with Charly Boy, we are not just to make some money but to be able to build relationship, collaboration… And then we going to celebrate America… This should be really nice, it will be informative, educative and so on…
Should we expect principal photography to commence in January next year or December this year. When?
I am looking forward to start shooting sometime next year. Definitely sometime next year. I think about the cast… What’s crazy is that because it might require a certain location and all of that kind of stuff. That’s that feedback from other sources that have supply responses and then if we don’t get the response, and we have to alternate is what we want to do. So that’s the thing that makes you…