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Ryan Coogler & MACRO to team for a Black Panthers movement drama

Ryan Coogler, Black Panther, Jesus Was My Homeboy

With Marvel’s BLACK PANTHER being a favorite throughout this year’s awards season, his WRONG ANSWER drama on the way, and a return trip to Wakanda waiting in the tall grass, it’s no effort at all to say that everything's coming up Milhouse for fan-favorite filmmaker Ryan Coogler.

Today, Coogler has announced that he’s partnering with Charles D. King’s MACRO to produce JESUS WAS MY HOMEBOY, a film project centered around the iconic Black Panther party member Fred Hampton for Warner Bros.

In reading Deadline’s exclusive report, we’ve discovered that some top-notch talent has already been assigned to the project by way of Daniel Kaluuya, who is in talks to star as Hampton, with Lakeith Stanfield gearing up to play William O’Neal, the jive turkey who ratted Hampton out to the FBI. Directing the Black Panther-centric drama will be Shaka King (NEWLYWEEDS), who will also produce from a script inked by his own pen alongside Will Berson (SPIN CITY, SCRUBS).

According to the report, the film will explore the rise and untimely death of Hampton as seen through O’Neal’s perspective. It will also hold a magnifying glass to how the FBI infiltrated the Black Panthers, as well as the psychology of their informant and the careful planning that went into assassinating the young political leader who was taken off the board at just 21 years young.

Deadline has more details surrounding Hampton’s background and story, which you can read for yourself below:

Hampton was a respected and talented grass-roots civil rights activist who rose to become chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Panthers organization and deputy chairman of the national BPP. But his charisma, oratorial skills and swift ascent marked him out as a threat in the eyes of the FBI and in 1969 he and fellow Panther Mark Clark were killed during a controversial raid by a tactical unit carrying out orders from the Chicago Police Department and the FBI. O’Neill had provided the FBI with detailed plans of Hampton’s apartment.

The deaths were initially ruled justifiable homicide and the police claimed the Panthers had initiated hostilities, but a number of investigations pointed to state-sponsored assassination and subsequent civil lawsuits led to settlements by law enforcement and Illinois’ Cook County. Thousands attended Hampton’s funeral and he was eulogized by African American leaders including Jesse Jackson and Ralph Abernathy. O’Neal remained haunted by his part in Hampton’s death until his mysterious suicide in 1990. (via Deadline)

Executive producing JESUS WAS MY HOMEBOY are Sev Ohanian, Zinzi Coogler and MACRO’s Kim Roth and Poppy Hanks.

Meanwhile, Coogler will soon return to his director's chair for WRONG ANSWER, a drama starring Michael B. Jordan as a math teacher in Atlanta who is scandalized when he looks to get funding for his school by altering his students' test scores. After that, Coogler will set his sights on the highly-anticipated sequel to Marvel's BLACK PANTHER. So yeah, everything's definitely coming up Milhouse for ol' Coogler, and I'd say his success is well deserved.

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