Legendary Hollywood director, producer, writer and actor Spike Lee is collaborating with upstart Jordan Peele on “Black Klansman,” a true story of a black police detective who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s.
Lee and Peele have been working on the movie thriller for more than two years. The timing is more relevant than ever after KKK and other white supremacist groups protested in Charlottesville, triggering violence that resulted in fatalities.
Peele is fresh from his directorial debut in “Get Out.” His success made him the first black writer/director to make more than $100 million in a feature film debut.
“Peele’s brutal commentary on race relations in ‘Get Out’ was praised by artists and academics, ABC reported. And the film’s intersection of horror and racial commentary even inspired a course at UCLA.”
“Black Klansman” is the story of Ron Stallworth, a black man who infiltrated the KKK. In 1978, Stallworth answered an ad in the local newspaper seeking new Klan members. He gained membership, sending a white fellow police officer in his place to in-person Klan meetings.
Rising through the ranks, Stallworth became the head of the local chapter and was able to gather intelligence by pretending to be a white supremacist on the phone and in other forms of correspondence, Shadow and Act reported. During his undercover work, Stallworth sabotaged several cross-burnings and other activities of the notorious hate group, according to Hollywood Reporter.
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Stallworth wrote a book in 2014, “Black Klansman,” about his experience.
John David Washington, son of Denzel Washington, who stars in HBO’s “Ballers,” is in talks to star in the thriller which is set to begin production this year.
Along with Lee and Kevin Willmott, Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz are adapting the script, Variety reported.
QC Entertainment principle Edward H. Hamm Jr. will be executive producer. Josh McLaughlin will oversee the movie for Focus features, a motion picture production, financing, and distribution company.
Lee and Peele will also be working with producers Sean McKittrick, Shaun Redick, and Raymond Mansfield at QC Entertainment and Jason Blum at Blumhouse Productions, Slash Film reported:
“Lee is one of the most prominent African-American filmmakers, making some of the most poignant and relevant films that are full of rich social commentary about class, racism and more. Meanwhile, Jordan Peele just started his directing career by bringing us the powerful horror thriller “Get Out,” rife with themes and metaphors about race, and a promising beginning to his future as a filmmaker. Now the two directors are teaming up for a new project that will surely have a say about racism in America.”