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Anthony Mackie Sets Directorial Debut with ‘King Richard’ Breakout Saniyya Sidney

The "Falcon and the Winter Soldier" star will helm the drama about civil rghts pioneer Claudette Colvin.

Anthony Mackie arrives at the premiere of "Avengers: Endgame" at the Los Angeles Convention Center onLA Premiere of "Avengers: Endgame" - Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 22 Apr 2019

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

The new Captain America is looking back at America’s past.

After concluding Disney+’s “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” series, Anthony Mackie is set to make his feature directorial debut with the civil rights drama “Spark,” inspired by 1950s pioneer Claudette Colvin. Mackie became familiar with Colvin’s story while visiting the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.

“Not only was I moved, I was inspired,” Mackie explained, as reported by Variety. “It’s great to be a superhero in movies but she’s a real live one living amongst us and I’m honored to tell her story.”

Colvin made history at age 15 when she stood up to racism, refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Colvin was arrested nine months before Rosa Parks similarly took a stand.

“Spark” will star Saniyya Sidney (“King Richard”) as Colvin. Mackie is also producing the film in partnership with Kellon Akeem, Jason Michael Berman, and Marc Ambrose. Sidney’s streak of playing real-life heroes like Venus Williams and Colvin will continue with her turn as Sasha Obama in Showtime’s “The First Lady,” starring Viola Davis as Michelle Obama.

As for Colvin’s take on the project, the civil rights leader said, “It is really an honor to have my story retold, by Mr. Mackie, for future generations to learn about our past so they can move forward knowing that progress is possible, and things do get better.”

Colvin added, “67 years ago, when history glued me to the seat of that bus in Montgomery, I could never have imagined that standing up for my rights could spark a movement that would change the course of history. I hope my story will inspire youth to continue to fight for civil rights and human dignity.”

“Spark” will be a co-production between Make it with Gravy Productions, Mansa Productions, Mandalay Pictures in Association with Ambergreen Entertainment. Niceole R. Levy, who worked with Mackie on “The Banker,” is writing the film, which will be produced with the help of Colvin and her family. “Spark” has secured the life rights of Colvin as well as the book “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice” by Phillip Hoose.

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