Shadow and Act has learned that Omar Epps and Michael Ealy will star in Lionsgate thriller The Devil You Know. Written and directed by Charles Murray, the film will also star Will Catlett, Glynn Turman, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Theo Rossi, BJ Britt, Vaughn Hebron, Erica Tazel, Curtiss Cook, Keisha Epps, and Ashley Williams. Murray and Marc Danon will produce through their Command Films production company alongside Roy Scott McFarland, and Jackie J. Stone. Ealy and Epps will serve as executive producers.
The film will follow Epps' character, a man who is trying to turn over a new leaf, but learns one of his brothers might be involved in a crime. As the official description states:
"In The Devil You Know, Marcus Cowans (Omar Epps) – after a lifetime of trouble – finally has the chance to turn things around with the support of his loving family. But when Marcus discovers that one of his three brothers (Will Catlett) might be involved in a heinous crime, he finds himself not only at odds with his brother, but also in the crosshairs of a very driven cop (Michael Ealy). As Marcus tries to do right, he finds himself spiraling into the dark place he and his family fought so hard for him to overcome."
Lauren Bixby, vice president, Co-Productions and Acquisitions for Lionsgate, announced the film and discussed in a statement what it was like to work with the film's team.
“We’ve been wanting to work with Charles for a long time, and with The Devil You Know, he has made a riveting film, punctuated by Omar and Michael’s performances — they give the characters real emotional weight," she said. "We’re thrilled to be bringing the movie to audiences everywhere.”
“I've lived with this idea for many years and seeing it come to life with this stellar cast and driven crew has been nothing short of a dream come true," added Murray. "Loving movies as much as I do, having the opportunity to work with Glynn Turman, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Omar Epps, Michael Ealy, and the rest of the cast has been equally rewarding as a fan and as a creative. I enjoyed every minute of it.”
Epps called the film "an exploration fo family, morality and brotherhood."
“It challenges generational and cultural conditioning in an authentic way that leads back to protecting one’s humanity," he said. "I’m excited for audiences to experience this film for years to come.”
Ealy also said that he was immediately "intrigued" by the film.
“For me it always starts with what’s on the page,” he said. “I've been positioning myself to work behind the camera so when Charles and I were discussing another project, he sent me this script. My connection to this family was immediate and I was intrigued, especially because I didn’t come from a big family. I wanted to be involved and after a few deeper conversations, it was apparent that my interest went beyond being in front of the camera. Thankfully Charles agreed.”
Danon said Lionsgate's "enthusiasm and support" of the film "has been phenomenal from the very beginning."
“Command is focused on identifying partnerships that propel Black creators, and we saw immediate value in partnering with Lionsgate, who is like-minded in their efforts to maximize diverse groups," he said.