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John Singleton Sets Up 1980s Crack Cocaine Epidemic Origins Project at FX

John Singleton Sets Up 1980s Crack Cocaine Epidemic Origins Project at FX

A project that was previously set up at Showtime, John Singleton’s 1980s-set crack cocaine era drama titled “Snowfall,” described succinctly, if reductively, as “Boyz n the Hood meets The Wire,” is now heading to FX, with a pilot order from the network.

The drama will explore what has come to be known as the “American crack epidemic” – the surge of crack cocaine use across the USA (specifically Los Angeles, in this case) during the mid to late 1980s.

An “origin” story, at the center of the drama will be 3 characters: a young black kid from Compton, CA who will grow to become the world’s first “superstar” drug dealer; as well as a Mexican wrestler; and a CIA agent charged with laundering money for the Contras.

Singleton will co-write with Eric Amadio, and exec produce the drama, as well as direct the pilot.

This news comes after the director exited the long-in-development Tupac Shakur biopic, and has been replaced by Carl Franklin (although Singleton says he still plans to pursue his own independent Tupac film).

Last year, he also previously teamed up with Russell Simmons on an HBO project called “Club Life: Miami” – a drama set against the South Beach club scene and follows a reformed criminal who moves to Miami and gains a new lease on life as he embraces the vibrant, youthful and transgressive world. 

No word on whether that project is still alive.

“Snowfall” marks what seems to be an interest from TV networks (including Netflix) in period dramas, set in the late 1970s to mid-1980s, with black characters in lead roles, and stories that range from the early days of hip-hop music to Reaganomics era narratives.

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