The Golden Globe-nominated actor will star in “A Civil Right,” an upcoming film directed and co-produced by Salvatore Stabile, who also wrote the script.
The feature, which is the first project from Michael Benaroya and Darryl Taja’s Revolution Media, will chronicle the life of Mason, a Biloxi, Miss. physician who led nonviolent “wade-ins” against segregation on Gulf Coast beaches between 1959 and 1963 as well as protests that sparked violence from whites and resulted in the first successful anti-discrimination suit against the state of Mississippi.
Mason’s activism landed him at number three on the FBI’s civil rights agitators most-watched list as he went on to successfully fight for school desegregation in Mississippi and help form the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), according to a press release. Prior to his death in 2006, Mason served as President of the Mississippi NAACP for three decades.
Ealy’s casting in the biopic is the latest development in Taja’s efforts to bring Mason’s story to the big screen.
“Sal wrote an amazing script that I’ve wanted to make for two years, as we are part of the greatest, modern country in the world, with a history that is plagued by a tumultuous past,” Taja said in a press release. “Without the contributions of so many individuals, like Dr. Mason, many of us would not be able to enjoy the civil liberties that we have in this modern society. I feel both obligated and humbled to be able share Sal’s interpretation of our history with the world, as well as grateful to have a partner in Michael (Benaroya) that shares my vision and allows us to use our resources to tell amazing stories like these that have shaped our society and impacted so many of us. It is the reason why we formed Revolution Media.”
At this time, the film is looking to round out its casting with actors who will portray real life figures involved in Mason’s historic efforts such as Zack VanLandingham, an FBI agent turned state investigator who moved back to the south to protect and preserve his family’s way of life in the fight against integration.
In addition to “A Civil Right,” Ealy stars in and serves as executive producer for the upcoming Screen Gems thriller “The Perfect Guy.”