Oscar-nominated director Spike Lee cast Corey Hawkins and Topher Grace in his upcoming film, Black Klansman. These announcements come on the heels of earlier news that Adam Driver (Girls, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) has also joined the cast and will be playing an undercover cop. Black Klansmen will be Lee’s first narrative feature since 2015’s Chi-Raq, which was the first original film released by Amazon Studios.
In addition to directing, Lee is co-writing the Black Klansman script, which is adapted from the Ron Stallworth memoir of the same name. He will also co-produce alongside Jordan Peele (Get Out). Now, Black Klansman has added two more to its cast.
As reported by The Tracking Board, Corey Hawkins, whose most recent on-screen credit was in last spring’s Kong: Skull Island, has signed on to play civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael, while one time That '70s Show alum Topher Grace will play a white supremacist. This latest casting news for Black Klansman helps to paint an even broader picture of how this film will play out. To date we know that John David Washington (Ballers) will be playing the lead role of Ron Stallworth, the black police officer who went undercover in the Colorado Springs chapter of the Ku Klux Klan back in 1978.
After Colorado Springs began to see an increase in KKK activity in the late 1970s, police officer Ron Stallworth began an investigation into the notorious hate group, which culminated with Stallworth being asked to lead the KKK’s Colorado Springs chapter. Having obviously been unable to physically attend any sort of meeting or rally due to his race, Stallworth would send a white undercover officer in his place, the likes of which will be played by Driver in the upcoming film. Stallworth’s successful infiltration of the KKK remained relatively unknown to the public until he wrote his memoir in 2014.
From the sound of things, Black Klansman has all the makings of a taut and suspense-filled film. Stallworth’s memoir is highly regarded and Lee’s sensibilities for dealing with issues of civil and social rights has arguably made him one of the best possible filmmakers to tell this story. That being said, it’s been some time since Lee last had a bona fide hit at the box office and with the rise in hate groups and crimes being a hot button issue, there will be considerable pressure on the director to produce the finest adaptation he can.
As of this writing, there is no confirmed release date for Black Klansman, but if casting is any indication of the diversity and talent involved, then there’s good reason to believe that when it does hit theaters, Black Klansman will likely be worth keeping an eye on.
Source: The Tracking Board