Two years ago, Justin Lin was the man for the directing gig for a film based on the Los Angeles riots that followed the acquittal of four LAPD officers charged with beating the late Rodney King.
Prior to that, Spike Lee was once the man for the job several years ago, but he couldn’t get the project financed. So consider this yet another story Spike Lee wanted to tell on film but didn’t get the opportunity to, although unlike the others (films on Jackie Robinson and James Brown to start), this one will be directed by a black filmmaker.
Imagine Entertainment (Ron Howard, Brian Grazer have tapped John Ridley to direct the film from his own script (which he initially penned when Spike was going to direct, way back when.
The film will tell the story through the eyes of several key figures who were involved in the riots, from the events that led to it and after.
Broad Green Pictures is partnering with Imagine Entertainment to produce and distribute the film, with production set to begin in the spring of 2016.
Ridley’s been taking full advantage of all the buzz he earned after his Oscar win for scripting “12 Years a Slave,” keeping himself quite busy. With his “American Crime” anthology series performing well for ABC (a second season was ordered), Ridley is a creative in demand. There’s also the scripting he’s doing for MGM’s remake of the classic sword-and-sandals epic “Ben-Hur;” and he’s developing a new Marvel series also for ABC, which is being described as a “reinvention” of an existing Marvel superhero character; although no word on who that character is, as details are being kept under wraps; and he sold a new crime drama pilot, also to ABC, titled “Presence,” which will follow a former Army Counter Insurgency Operative, beginning a new career as a private investigator in Los Angeles;,and finally, most recently, he teamed up with Michael McDonald to option author Kim Reid’s award-winning 2007 “No Place Safe: A Family Memoir,” for ABC to produce.