At the end of a 12-minute conversation at the Time 100 Summit that glided past the most conspicuous issue in his career — the fate of Empire in the wake of the Jussie Smollett case — Lee Daniels offered a few new details about Superbitch.
That memorably titled project is also known as the Daniels-shepherded gay superhero movie. He announced it in January in an Instagram post that featured the film’s progenitor, a performer who posts videos on the social network. He said he will produce and put several million dollars into the modest-budgeted film, but will not direct, scouting instead for an up-and-comer to step behind the camera.
After moderator Van Jones of CNN asked in the waning seconds of the conversation if the “rumor” about the project are true, Daniels exclaimed, “It’s true!” He elaborated, “It’s called Superbitch. I found him on Instagram of all places. He does backflips and he has a cape and he does karate and, oh my God, he’s going to be a hero!”
While “I’m not putting that much money behind it,” Daniels noted, “a couple million dollars for a gay superhero movie is pretty f–king exciting!”
Jones replied, “With a name like Superbitch, you ain’t gotta promote it.”
After Jones offered a laudatory introduction, he and Daniels spent the bulk of the session recalling the oft-told tales of how Daniels has bucked convention at every turn. “I was disruptive at birth,” Daniels said. As he sought to get his career on track, he looked for financing sources wherever he could find them. “Some of it was drug money,” he shrugged. “You do what you do.”