John Ridley, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “12 Years a Slave” and creator of ABC’s Emmy-nominated limited series “American Crime,” will direct his own screenplay about the 1992 L.A. riots for Broad Green Pictures and Imagine Entertainment. Brian Grazer (“A Beautiful Mind”) has signed on to produce the film, slated to begin shooting in the spring of 2016.
The project, which does not yet have a title, will focus on a handful of key figures from the period. In April, 1992, the acquittal of four Los Angeles Police Department officers in the near-fatal beating of Rodney King set off four days of rioting, which left more than 50 people dead, 2,300 injured, and caused an estimated $1 billion in property damage.
At a moment in which racism and police brutality have once again come to the fore, publicized and challenged by the Black Lives Matter movement and playing out on live television in Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore, Md., and elsewhere, the new film reaffirms Ridley’s interest in provocative, timely subjects. The second season of “American Crime,” which will air next year, features a high school student who accuses several basketball players at a tony private school of sexual assaulting him and posting photos of the crime online.