The early ’70’s ushered in the era of “Blaxploitation,” which moved Black actors and actresses to the forefront in films. While this moment of Black cinema was short-lived, the 1973 classic Cleopatra Jones starring the late Tamara Dobsonwas among the standouts and will see a 21st Century reboot in the near future.
Dobson, a Baltimore native and model who found fame in New York working with top fashion magazines and brands, starred in the role of the globetrotting supermodel who moonlighted as a skilled secret agent.
Filmed with an impressive for its time $3.25 million budget, the various locales used in the movie drew comparisons to the James Bond franchise.
Like Bond, Jones’ image of a sultry and sought-after figure was part of her appeal and cover as she worked on behalf of the government to save the world.
Cleopatra Jones was a critical success but also came as the Blaxploitation genre was on the decline. A sequel, Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold, was not as well-received and Dobson fell into relative obscurity.
The film’s update will be funded by Warner Bros.just as they did the original, with WGN’s Underground co-creator, writer and executive producer Misha Green as its writer. Green, 33, is also working with Get Out’s Jordan Peele and JJ Abrams in the same capacity for the upcoming HBO drama, Lovecraft.
Dobson passed at the age of 59 from complications of pneumonia and multiple sclerosis in her hometown of Baltimore in 2006.
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The Ten Most Interesting Little Known Black History Facts
1. The 6888th Battalion was the largest all Black female military unit in World War 2.Source:U.S. Department of Defense, Public Domain 1 of 10
2. The Fultz quadruplets were the first surviving identical African-American quads.Source:Library of Congress/Public Domain 2 of 10
3. The Muse BrothersSource:Public Domain 3 of 10
4. Gerald LawsonSource:Wikipedia/Fair Use 4 of 10
5. Frederick JonesSource:Minnesota Historical Society 5 of 10
6. Sarah RectorSource:Public Domain 6 of 10
7. Sarah BaartmanSource:Public Domain 7 of 10
8. Philippa SchuylerSource:Library of Congress, Public Domain 8 of 10
9. Millie and Christine McKoySource:John H. Fitzgibbon (Collection of Robert E. Green) Public Domain 9 of 10
10. Leonard NimoySource:PR Photos 10 of 10
Little Known Black History Fact: ‘Cleopatra Jones’ Reboot was originally published on blackamericaweb.com