Deon Taylor and Roxanne Avent Taylor's Hidden Empire Film Group has partnered with Misha Collins, Trish Hofman, Victoria Vantoch, Philip Schneider and Hilary Swank to develop, finance and produce the upcoming film The Daryl Davis Project.
The film is based on the real story of Black pianist Daryl Davis, who uses his musical talents to infiltrate the KKK through the power of friendship. The film will be adapted from Klan-destine Relationships: A Black Man's Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan. According to the official description:
"This is the inspiring true story of Daryl Davis, a Black pianist, who uses the power of music to forge unlikely friendships with members of the KKK. Braving death threats and cross burnings, Daryl remains resolute in pursuit of an answer to his question: How can you hate me when you don’t know me? Today, Daryl continues his mission, and proudly owns the hoods and robes of more than 200 former Klansmen, who can no longer justify their allegiance to white supremacy."
The producing team is currently searching for a writer to adapt the story.
Hoffman and Collins first optioned Davis' story, and talked about the importance of his story in a statement.
“What we love about the story, is that it's about a man who combats racism head on by going directly to its most overt perpetuators, and treats them like humans - thereby forcing them to discover that hatred is impossible when there is connection," they said.
Taylor said, “This story couldn’t be timelier and the fact that it’s real makes it even more compelling. Daryl is one of those great examples how one individual can make a massive change in the world no matter who they are, where they come from or what their color of skin.”
Swank added, “Finding our commonalities is so important in this day and age. When we find what can unite us, we can help delimit what can divide us. This story is a shining testament to that. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be developing Daryl’s story and we are thrilled to have Deon and his team to shepherd this to the screen.”
Taylor's next project with Hidden Empire includes directing two films: Grave Hill from Parasite producer CJ Entertainment and Freedom Ride about John Lewis and the original Freedom Riders.