Director Ryan Coogler To Produce Movie About The Black Panther Party

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Black Panther, last year’s hit Marvel movie that was a global box office success and received a Best Picture nomination, was directed by Ryan Coogler, the filmmaker behind the previous acclaimed films Fruitvale Station and Creed.

Now, Coogler is at work on another film about the actual, real-life Black Panthers.

According to Deadline, Coogler is set to produce Jesus Was My Homeboy, a movie about the Black Panther Party and party member Fred Hampton, specifically. Daniel Kaluuya, the star of Get Out who also appeared in Black Panther, is in talks to play Hampton. Lakeith Stanfield, also from Get Out, is set to play William O’Neal, who was said to have betrayed Hampton to the FBI.

Shaka King (director of the 2013 comedy Newlyweeds) is the director, with Coogler and Charles D. King producing. King co-wrote the film with Will Berson.

According to Deadline, the film “will follow the rise and untimely demise of Hampton as seen through O’Neal’s eyes. It will explore how the FBI infiltrated the Black Panthers, the psychology of their informant and the notorious assassination of the young political leader who died aged only 21.”

Fred Hampton was a Chicago-based member of the Black Panther Party, who rose to deputy chairman of the national party. A recognized organizer and activist, he was killed during a raid in December of 1969, an incident that deepened mistrust between the city’s African-American community and the police.

The deaths of Hampton and fellow Panther Mark Clark were first ruled as justifiable homicides, but later investigations yielded different results, leading to settlements paid out by both Cook County and various law enforcement agencies.


Daniel Kaluuya is 29-years-old, which is a bit older than Hampton was when he died. Following his performance in Get Out, he had a smaller role in Black Panther before showing up in the very different role of a violent henchman in last fall’s thriller Widows. He is currently filming the drama Queen and Slim. Stanfield, who starred in last year’s acclaimed Sorry to Bother You, is also a co-star on the TV series Atlanta.

The Black Panthers were previously the subject of an acclaimed documentary in 2015’s The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution.

Both Black Panther, the comic book character, and the Black Panther Party debuted in 1966; neither appears to have been named after the other. The first and last scenes in the 2018 Black Panther movie are set in Oakland, California, where the Black Panthers was founded.