While he was allegedly feuding with director Steve McQueen over 12 Years A Slave credits (a claim he later dismissed), writer/director John Ridley was busy prepping an ABC drama pilot titled American Crime, which was eventually ordered to series by the network, and will premiere during the 2014/2015 TV season.
American crime, which Ridley is writing, directed and executive producing, follows a racially-charged murder case and the trial that follows, as audiences will experience the murder and trial through the eyes of several different people who are, in some way, connected to the events. It’ll frankly tackle matters of race, class and gender politics in the USA.
Here’s its official synopsis:
All over the news are reports about a young couple in Modesto, California, who were attacked in their home. Matt Skokie, a war vet, was killed, and his wife, Lily, is unconscious, barely hanging on. Both sets of parents are at her bedside hoping for a miracle while four suspects are about to be arrested. The case sends shock waves into the community stirring up tensions across racial lines in this gritty drama—from the point of view of the victims.
American Crime stars Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton, W. Earl Brown, Richard Cabral, Caitlin Gerard, Benito Martinez, Penelope Ann Miller, Elvis Nolasco and Johnny Ortiz.
The series was written, directed and produced by John Ridley.
And not only did Ridley adapt 12 Years A Slave, he also wrote the script for, and directed another film that made its debut last fall (on the film festival circuit) – the Jimi Hendrix biopic starring Andre Benjamin, All Is By My Side.
Ridley is also currently developing a film based on the 1992 Los Angeles riots, with Ron Howard’s and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment, and Justin Lin (4 Fast & Furious movies) attached to direct
His recent TV effort – penning the script for Spike Lee’s HBO series Da Brick – never made it to air.
Watch the first trailer for American Crime below: