Melina Matsoukas Attached to Direct Adaption of ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’ for Amazon

Melina Matsoukas, the directing powerhouse behind the Grammy Award-winning music videos for Rihanna’s “We Found Love” and Beyoncé’s “Formation,” is bringing her vision to the big screen.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Matsoukas is attached to direct the adaptation of the novel A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James for Amazon Studios.

The book is the third novel written by James and was published in 2014. The plot centers on Jamaica’s people, its history, and its culture. It spans across a decade and uses reggae icon Bob Marley’s 1976 assassination attempt as the catalyst to explore one day across different time periods.

According to THR, “the novel looked at Jamaican politics, poverty, race, class and the volatile relationship between the U.S. and the Caribbean, and traced the connection between CIA efforts to destabilize a left-wing Jamaican government in the 1970s to the brutal realities of gang wars in the Kingston ghettos and their spread to New York in the 1980s.”

Matsoukas, who is also the chief director of the HBO series Insecure, is reimagining James’ award-winning novel as a multi-episode series. She will direct episodes, as well as executive produce. “A Brief History of Seven Killings is a complex story that needs to be told, about a people whose voices need to be heard,” Matsoukas told THR in a statement.

“It’s been my dream to bring this story to life onscreen since reading the first line of Marlon’s book. I am deeply honored to be entrusted with this tapestry of stories so entrenched in roots, reggae, race, mysticism and politics, while working alongside Marlon to ensure an authentic portrayal of his words.”

Matsoukas is an NYU graduate whose claim to artistic fame is heavily rooted in the world of music videos. Since starting in 2006, some of her most notable works include, “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis, “Rude Boy” by Rihanna, “Losing You” by Solange, “Pretty Hurts” by Beyoncé, and the On the Run Tour featurette “RUN” for Jay and Bey.

Since making waves in video world, Matsoukas started to become sought after for her work in other areas of visual arts. She even directed the poignant and moving “Equality” campaign that Nike put out earlier this year. In addition to serving as executive producer for Insecure, the director flexed her chops on three episodes for the series so far.

A release date for the show has not yet been announced.

Photo Credit: Deadline

Sheriden Chanel is a twenty-something writer, Beyoncé enthusiast, and lover of all things visual art. Keep up with her and her musings on social via @indiebyline.