Exclusive: Leslie Odom Jr. and John Ridley Theorize Time Travel and Diversifying Sci-Fi Films [Video] – theknockturnal.com

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Academy Award-winning director, John Ridley’s latest star-studded Sci-Fi film will immerse its audience in the captivating world of love, revenge, and time travel.
Ridley takes on the dual role of both director and screenwriter for Needle In A Timestack, adapting it from Robert Silverberg’s 1966 short story of the same name. Aside from the book-to-screen moderations, the biggest comes in the form of the diversity within the characters – a rare occurrence within the Sci-Fi realm. 
According to a recent UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report, new evidence suggests that America’s growing diverse audience prefers to see this reflected on screen. Given the statistics, Ridley’s newest film shines a light on cast diversity in Sci-Fi films, a sentiment not lost on him. 
“You paint the pictures in the color that you know,” Ridley says. “When I read [Silverberg’s] short story 20 years ago I don’t know that I thought about it even with the…. political need for it, but in putting this story together in all of its aspects and configuration sometimes the ability to speak the loudest is when you speak softly.”
Ridley showcases the idea that “stories can be written for anybody”, and allows the audience to see themselves in one of the film’s captivating leads, Leslie Odom, Jr who stars as Nick Mikkelsen.
Odom Jr. stars alongside the equally enchanting Janine Mikkelsen (Cynthia Erivo), delivering an unforgettable performance. The two navigate their marriage in the modern world like many couples do, except for the occasional setback in which their timeline can be altered by Tommy Hambleton (Orlando Bloom), a wealthy, but jaded ex-lover.
The compelling script, direction, and ensemble were enough to welcome Odom Jr. into Ridley’s world. Having previously worked with Ridley on the 2012 film, Red Tails, Odom Jr. calls this film “an exciting prospect.”
[Ridley] gave me this gorgeous script and the opportunity to traverse in a science fiction world,” Odom Jr. recounts thoughtfully. “The opportunity to work in a space that you don’t often see people of color in was too good to pass up, obviously in addition to working with John.”
Needle in A Timestack is sure to leave you spellbound, and perhaps even questioning if a world where time travel is possible and easily accessible with money is one you’d want to live in.
As for Odom Jr. and Ridley, when asked if they would take the opportunity to time travel, their answer is simple. 
“No, I wouldn’t do it,” Odom Jr. says while shaking his head. 
“I’m with Leslie; people ask me all the time what would you tell your 20-year-old self; I say nothing,” Ridley says with a laugh. “I made mistakes…. but they bring me here and to be able to be here and be speaking with you, with Leslie about a film that we made together that people find beautiful…. Every single thing brought us here.”
You can decide for yourself if time travel is for you after watching LionsGate’s Needle In A Timestack on digital, demand, and in limited theaters on Friday, October 15th, 2021, or on DVD and Blu-Ray on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021!

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