After the huge success of his directorial debut ‘Get Out,’ comedian-turned-filmmaker Jordan Peele is turning producer for an upcoming collaboration with Spike Lee.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lee and Peele are teaming up for ‘The Black Klansman,’ a fact-based drama based on the memoir of Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer who successfully infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan.
Lee will direct, whilst John David Washington – an actor on TV’s ‘Ballers,’ and also the son of Denzel Washington (who previously worked with Lee on several films including ‘Mo’ Better Blues,’ ‘Malcolm X’ and ‘He Got Game’) – is in talks to take the lead as Stallworth.
Lee has worked with screenwriters Kevin Willmont, Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz to adapt Stallworth’s 2014 autobiography, detailing how the Colorado Springs detective joined the white supremacist hate group in 1978 in response to a newspaper ad. He hid his true identity by corresponding by post and telephone, and sending in a white fellow cop to pose as him at meetings.
Remarkably, Stallworth’s undercover work saw him rise through the ranks of the Klan to wind up as the leader of a local chapter, during which time he gathered intelligence and sabotaged activities.
THR stress that, while the story seems very timely given the current political climate in the US, Lee and Peele have been developing ‘The Black Klansman’ for several years.
‘Get Out’ producer Jason Blum will co-produce ‘The Black Klansman’ alongside Peele, via their respective companies Blumhouse and Monkeypaw Productions, and the film is expected to go into production later this year.
Peele’s ‘Get Out’ has been one of the most talked-about films of 2017, as well as one of the most profitable, taking $252 million worldwide off a $4.5 million budget.
Spike Lee’s most recent work has been a TV series adaptation of his 1986 film ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ for Netflix.