Ryan Coogler, Macro, Warner Bros. Are Making Black Panthers Film. Daniel Kaluuya & Lakeith Stanfield Are In Talks To Star

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Written by Dana Sanchez

Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler and Charles D. King’s Macro, maker of the movie “Mudbound,” are producing a movie “Jesus Was My Homeboy” for Warner Bros about Black Panther Party member Fred Hampton, according to Deadline.

Talks are underway for Daniel Kaluuya of “Get Out” to star as activist Hampton and for Lakeith Stanfield of “Atlanta” and “Sorry To Bother You” to play William O’Neal, the man who betrayed Hampton to the FBI, Deadline reported.

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If the deal is made, Kaluuya will play the activist and organizer Hampton who was assassinated at age 21 by orders of the FBI and Chicago police department. Hampton rose fast in the Black Panther Party to become chairman of the Illinois chapter and deputy chairman of the national party, according to Hollywood Reporter.

“Jesus Was My Homeboy” looks at the rise and fall of Hampton through the perspective of O’Neal, the FBI informant who infiltrated the Black Panthers and helped get him assassinated.

Black Panthers
Filmmaker Ryan Coogler poses for a portrait at the “Black Panther” press junket in Beverly Hills, Calif. in this Jan. 30, 2018 photo.(Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

O’Neal got the FBI’s attention in 1966 when FBI Agent Roy Martin Mitchell tracked him down for stealing a car and driving it across state lines, according to a 1990 Chicago Tribune report. Mitchell agreed to drop the stolen car charge if ‘Neal would work for the FBI. He worked undercover for the FBI before entering the Federal Witness Protection Program in 1973.

O’Neal got the FBI’s attention in 1966 when FBI Agent Roy Martin Mitchell tracked him down for stealing a car and driving it across state lines, according to a 1990 Chicago Tribune report. Mitchell agreed to drop the stolen car charge if ‘Neal would work for the FBI. He worked undercover for the FBI before entering the Federal Witness Protection Program in 1973.

Thousands of mourners attended Hampton’s funeral and he was eulogized by Jesse Jackson and Ralph Abernathy. O’Neal was haunted by his role in Hampton’s death until his suicide in 1990.

O’Neal may have been a natural-born actor.

”He could play all the roles, every part they (FBI agents) needed,” said an official who knew him, according to the Chicago Tribune.