While we impatiently wait for Jordan Peele’s directorial follow up to his smash social horror picture, Get Out, he’s keeping quite busy. On top of producing Lovecraft Country (the series adaptation of Matt Ruff’s period horror novel of the same name) for HBO with Misha Green (Underground) and JJ Abrams (some movie called Star Wars), he’s now signed to produce Black Klansman for none other than Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing) to direct.
Co-produced by Jason Blum, and based on the 2014 book of the same name by Ron Stallworth (though unrelated to Ted Mikels’ 1966 exploitation film), Black Klansman is an autobiographical recounting of Stallworth’s time as a detective in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
In 1978, the officer responded to a recruitment ad for the Ku Klux Klan. During his sting operation, Stallworth enrolled as a member, and rose through the ranks of the KKK, despite being a black man. While most of his intelligence was gained over the phone, Stallworth sent a fellow Caucasian cop in his place for any in-person meetings. This infiltration led to the investigator becoming the head of the local chapter, and sabotaging numerous hate crimes.
Lee is co-writing the adaptation with Kevin Willmott (Chi-Raq), Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz, for Focus Features, while Denzel Washington’s son, John David Washington (Ballers), is in talks to star. It’s somewhat difficult to describe our level of enthusiasm here at BMD (the word thermonuclear comes to mind), but we’re certainly going to bring you more info as this project develops. In many ways, this feels like a generational meeting of minds – as some of our best working black artists are coming together to deliver timely pulp.