Lena Waithe is producing a new comedy titled The 40-Year-Old Version which will be directed by Radha Blank from her own script.
The 35-year-old screenwriter and producer – who is known for her work on Netflix comedy-drama series “Master of None” and Showtime’s “The Chi” – has joined the upcoming film, which will be directed by Blank from her own script and follows a down-on-her-luck New York playwright.
The movie will follow the protagonist as she reinvents herself as a rapper at the age of 40 and wavers between the worlds of New York’s theater and hip hop scenes, where the voices of Black women remain marginalized.
The 40-Year-Old Version will be produced by Inuka Bacote, Jennifer Semler and Jordan Fudge, while Rishi Rajani and Trevite Willis will executive produce the film.
Speaking of the project, Waithe said: “Radha Blank is a rare talent. She’s unlike anyone I’ve ever met — and I wanted to do everything in my power to help get this movie made.”
Blank added that she’s wanted to create a film this style for her “entire life” and thanked the movie’s producing team to help bring her “love letter” to New York City to the big screen.
She explained: “As a native New Yorker raised on cinema, I’ve been waiting my entire life to see someone who looks like me in the center of a classic New York film.
“And now thanks to the amazing support of Jordan, Lena and the rest of the talented team of producers, I get to make my dream come true, adding The 40-Year-Old Version a love letter to my great hometown, to the canon of New York films.”
Production is currently underway in New York City and the movie will be shot almost entirely on 35mm black and white film by cinematographer Eric Branco.