*The cast of Kathryn Bigelow’s “Untitled Detroit Riots Project” movie is rounding out, with Jeremy Strong, Chris Chalk and Austin Hébert joining Ephraim Sykes, Laz Alonso, Nathan Davis Jr., Malcolm David Kelley, Peyton Alex Smith and Leon Thomas III in the crime drama.
Deadline reports that the project is now in production, and the script for the untitled film was penned by Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty” scribe Mark Boal. The project is set against the backdrop of Detroit’s 1967 riots and explores systemic racism in the urban city.
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The 1967 Detroit riot, also known as the 12th Street riot, was a violent public disorder that turned into a civil disturbance in Detroit, Michigan. The precipitating event was a police raid of an unlicensed, after-hours bar. Police confrontations with patrons and observers on the street evolved into one of the deadliest and most destructive riots in the history of the United States, lasting five days and surpassing the violence and property destruction of Detroit’s 1943 race riot.
To help end the disturbance, Governor George W. Romney ordered the Michigan Army National Guard into Detroit, and President Lyndon B. Johnson sent in both the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. The result was 43 dead, 1,189 injured, over 7,200 arrests, and more than 2,000 buildings destroyed.
Bigelow and Boal are producing with Annapurna’s Megan Ellison and Matthew Budman, and Colin Wilson. Greg Shapiro is executive producing. Shadow and Act notes that the feature is the Oscar-winner’s tenth as a director. Although no studio is yet attached, a release date is being targeted for 2017, the 50th anniversary of the riots.
Bigelow, Boal and Ellison’s previous collaboration, “Zero Dark Thirty,” received five Oscar nominations including best picture and best screenplay.