Joseph David-Jones Books Lead Role in Kathryn Bigelow's Film Based on 1967 Detroit Race Riots
Photo Credit: Joseph David-Jones
Film

Joseph David-Jones Books Lead Role in Kathryn Bigelow's Film Based on 1967 Detroit Race Riots

Joseph David-Jones
Joseph David-Jones

UPDATE 8/8/16: Joseph David-Jones has joined the growing cast of Kathryn Bigelow’s secretive “Untitled Detroit Project.” No word on what character the actor has signed up to play, but it’s been reported that it’s a lead role. David-Jones joins the previously-cast John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Jacob Latimore and Algee Smith, who were announced last week. No word on what roles any of them are playing in the film.

David-Jones portrays most recently appeared in the CW series, “Legends of Tomorrow,” playing Connor Hawke, a Green Arrow not related to the present-day superhero of the same name on the network’s “Arrow” series. David-Jones also appeared in “The Divergent Series: Allegiant” on the big screen.

All previous updates on the Bigelow project follow below.





UPDATE: Following this morning’s announcement that Anthony Mackie has joined the cast (see that post below), we’ve now been informed this afternoon that Jacob Latimore and Algee Smith have also booked starring roles in Kathryn Bigelow’s “Untitled Detroit Project.” No word on what characters they will each play, as the project remains underwraps for now.

Jacob Latimore most recently starred in the 2016 Sundance Film Festival selection “Sleight,” which will be released in theaters in April 2017. Meanwhile, Algee Smith will star in the upcoming New Edition biopic to be released by BET, also in 2017.

This morning’s announcement of Anthony Mackie’s attachment, as well as all available details on the project, follow below.


Announced earlier this year, Kathryn Bigelow will direct, as well as produce with Mark Boal and Annapurna’s Megan Ellison and Matthew Budman, an untitled true crime drama from an original screenplay by Boal.

Referred to as the “Untitled Detroit Project,” it is being financed by Annapurna Pictures, and was set to begin principal photography this summer.

Specific details about the film are being kept mostly underwraps for now, other than the press release mention that it will be set against the backdrop of Detroit’s devastating riots that took place over five haunting summer days in 1967. Boal is said to have been researching and working on the project, which explores systemic racism in urban Detroit, for more than a year. Although no studio is yet attached, a release date is being targeted for 2017, the 50th anniversary of the riots.

Announced this morning, Anthony Mackie has joined the growing cast of the project, which also stars John Boyega (who was cast in June).

Will Poulter, Ben O’Toole and Jack Reynor round out the key players thus far.

The riots were a series of violent confrontations between residents of predominantly African American neighborhoods of Detroit, and the city’s police department, that began on July 23, 1967, and lasted for five days. The immediate cause of the riot was a police raid at an after-hours club, the site of a welcome-home party for two returning African American Vietnam War veterans.

As a result, 43 people died, including 33 African Americans and 10 whites. Many other people were injured; more than 7,000 people were arrested; and more than 1,000 buildings were burned in the uprising.

Those 5 days of upheaval are considered one of the catalysts for the Black Power movement of the period.

Around the same time, President LBJ appointed a commission to investigate the violent disorders that had erupted in several USA cities, including Detroit. The commission’s 1968 report cited racism, discrimination, and poverty as among the causes of the riots, and famously warned that “our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white – separate and unequal.”




Needless to say, the casting of this will continue to be closely watched by us. Notably, through what character’s eyes will the story unfold? Who will its main protagonist(s) be?

Annapurna’s Megan Ellison and Matthew Budman, as well as Colin Wilson and Greg Shapiro will executive produce the Bigelow/Boal project.

Boal and Bigelow previously collaborated on critically-acclaimed drama-thrillers “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”

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