Just as “The Blackening” parodied the horror movie cliché that Black characters are killed off first, the “magical Negro” trope is now getting its own satirical take.

Writer-director Kobi Libii is behind “The American Society of Magical Negroes,” which premieres at 2024 Sundance. The film, distributed by Focus Features, stars Justice Smith as Aren, a young man who is recruited into a “secret society of magical Black people who dedicate their lives to a cause of utmost importance: making white people’s lives easier,” per the official synopsis.

“I know you can feel their discomfort,” the trailer says. “Watching you walk through a room full of white people is the most painful thing I’ve ever seen.”

The plot is further teased: “That’s why we fight white discomfort every day. Because the happier they are, the safer we are.”

David Alan Grier, An-Li Bogan, Drew Tarver, Michaela Watkins, Aisha Hinds, Tim Baltz, Rupert Friend, and Nicole Byer also star in the comedy.

Executive producers include Mike Upton, Oren Moverman, and Leonid Lebedev, with writer-director Libii, Julia Lebedev, Eddie Vaisman, and Angel Lopez producing.

Focus Features additionally has “The Bikeriders,” Ethan Coen’s “Drive-Away Dolls,” Amy Winehouse biopic “Back to Black,” Diablo Cody’s “Lisa Frankenstein,” and Robert Eggers’ “Nosferatu” releasing in 2024. Jeff Nichols’ “The Bikeriders” was picked up by Focus after New Regency shopped distribution of the film following its delayed 20th Century/Disney release due to the SAG-AFTRA strike. Sam Taylor-Johnson’s “Back to Black” debuted a first look and May 2024 release date recently, with Marisa Abela portraying late Grammy winner Amy Winehouse.

In addition to “The American Society of Magical Negroes,” the Sundance lineup includes new films from Steven Soderbergh, Richard Linklater, Lana Wilson, and Amanda McBaine. The festival, which runs from January 18 through 28, features 82 films created by 101 directors, 40 of whom are first-time feature filmmakers. This year’s Sundance also celebrates the 40th anniversary of the acclaimed Park City, Utah-based festival.

“The American Society of Magical Negroes” premieres March 22 after debuting at Sundance. Check out the trailer below.

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