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'Black Klansman' KKK Thriller in the Works From Spike Lee, Jordan Peele, and Kevin Willmott

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

John David Washington will star in the adaptation of a memoir by an African-American police detective who infiltrated the KKK.

Spike Lee is teaming with Get Out filmmaker Jordan Peele for Black Klansman, the true story of an African-American police officer who infiltrated the KKK.

John David Washington, Denzel Washington's son and one of the stars of HBO’s Ballers, is in negotiations to star in the dramatic crime thriller that is gearing up to shoot this fall with Focus Features distributing.

Lee will direct and produce the movie with Peele also producing via his banner Monkeypaw Productions, along with Sean McKittrick, Shaun Redick and Raymond Mansfield of QC Entertainment and Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions. The latter group teamed previously to produce Peele’s groundbreaking horror thriller Get Out, the box-office sensation of early 2017.

Black Klansman tells the story of Ron Stallworth, a detective in Colorado Springs, Colo., who in 1978 answered an ad in the local newspaper seeking new Klan members. He not only gained membership, but rose through the ranks to become the head of the local chapter. Stallworth, who is black, was able to gather all sorts of intelligence by pretending to be a white supremacist on the phone or via other forms of correspondence but sent a white fellow officer in his place for any in-person meetings. During his undercover work, Stallworth managed to sabotage several cross-burnings and other activities of the notorious hate group. 

Stallworth, who will be played by Washington, wrote about his experience in a 2014 book titled Black Klansman. The title is not connected to The Black Klansman, a blaxploitation revenge thriller from 1966 that told of an African-American man who joins the KKK in order to seek vengeance for the death of his daughter.

The screenplay adapting Stallworth’s autobiography was penned by the writing team of Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz as well as by Spike Lee and Kevin Willmont. 

Even though the project sounds like it may be ripped from today’s headlines, Lee, Peele and the producers have been quietly working on the movie for... Read more

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