*Veteran TV director Paris Barclay will dip to the big screen for his upcoming biopic of civil rights pioneer Barbara Jordan, the first African American elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction and the first southern black female elected to the United States House of Representatives.
Barclay will direct and produce the story, while Oscar nominated actress Viola Davis, who starred in Barclay’s CBS medical drama “City of Angels” in 2000, is attached to play the lead.
“We’re working on a script now,” Barclay told EURweb exclusively at the TCA press tour. “It’s looking pretty good; it’s right now really big. It’s a really big movie so we’re trying to figure out a way to get her incredibly big story into a shorter form. Once we have a script that’s complete with Viola, we’ll try to find some other elements to attach to it, some other actors, and then we’ll go forward. I hope we can go forward with it by this winter.”
Barclay, the executive producer and principal director of FX’s highest rated series “Sons of Anarchy,” was part of Saturday’s TCA panel for the series in Beverly Hills. His television directing resume is packed with such critically-acclaimed fare as “NYPD Blue,” “ER,” “The West Wing,” “CSI,” “Lost,” “The Shield,” “House,” “Law & Order,” “Monk,” “Cold Case,” and more recently “The Mentalist,” “Weeds,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “The Good Wife,” “In Treatment,” “Smash” … and even “Glee.”
The untitled Barbara Jordan project will be his first directorial effort to land in theaters since his 1996 spoof-comedy “Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood,” starring Shawn and Marlon Wayans.
Below, Barclay tells us why he chose to bring Barbara Jordan’s story to the big screen, why Viola Davis is the perfect choice to play her, and the reason for selecting “the other Paris,” Paris Qualles, to write the screenplay.