Mario Van Peebles has been cast in CBS’ civil rights crime drama pilot “For Justice,” to play star Anika Noni Rose’s revolutionary father, who is determined to overthrow the American government via subversion or political action.
Rose leads the potential series from Law & Order scribe/showrunner Rene Balcer, to be directed by Ava DuVernay, which is based on author James Patterson’s very first novel, “The Thomas Berryman Number,” which follows the investigation and research of a Nashville reporter into the murder of Jimmie Lee Horn, Nashville’s first black mayor. The novel is set in the early 1970s, with a central murder investigation tightly wrapped up in racial tensions.
In CBS’ adaptation, the story will follow a female FBI agent working in the Criminal Section of the Department of Civil Rights Division, who finds herself caught between her radical real family and her professional family.
Rose plays the FBI agent, and the previously-cast Phylicia Rashad is a gay black woman who is described as a savvy Washington player who has faced discrimination for her race and sexual orientation, and fights to protect the independence and integrity of her high profile Civil Rights Division.
Also joining the cast is Leonardo Nam, who plays an FBI agent with the Civil Rights Unit.
DuVernay will direct from a script penned by Balcer, who will also executive produce the pilot, which promises to tackle present-day race-related events, like several high-profile cases, including the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting of Michael Brown, and the accidental death of Eric Garner at the hands of NYPD cops, that sparked national debate on race relations in the USA.
Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Productions will also executive produce.
Intrigued? Pick up a copy of the Patterson’s novel for yourself, via Amazon.com here. It won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author, as well as the Edgar Award for Best First Mystery..