*Michael Kenneth Williams has joined the cast of “Twelve Years a Slave,” an adaptation of Solomon Northup’s 1853 book about a free black man who is drugged and dragged to the South to be sold into slavery.
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The actor joins Michael Fassbender, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Brad Pitt in the Steve McQueen-directed film, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Raising Hope‘s” Garret Dillahunt, Paul Dano and SNL’s Taran Killam are also in “Twelve Years.”
Williams, best known for playing Chalky White on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and Omar Little on “The Wire,” will play Robert, a mutinous slave in “Twelve Years.”
New Regency is backing the film, while River Road and Pitt’s Plan B are producing. Production is currently underway in New Orleans.
Actor Michael K. Williams poses on the runway at the Levi's Fall 2012 Global Collection Presentation at 82 Mercer on Feb. 15, 2012 in New York City
*Michael K. Williams, best known for his work in HBO’s “The Wire,” will star as the late hip-hop artist Ol’ Dirty Bastard, (real name Russell Jones), in the feature film “Dirty White Boy.”
The film is based on the true story of Jarred Weisfeld, a 22-year-old VH1 intern who eventually became the rapper’s manager. The film depicts his misadventures with the artist leading up to the performer’s tragic death in 2004.
Joaquin Baca-Asay is making is feature directorial debut on the project, working with an original screenplay by Brent Hoff. Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy – the producing team behind “Beginners,” for which Christopher Plummer received an Academy Award – are producing with Todd Hagopian of Ocean Size Pictures.
The project has the full support and co-operation of Weisfeld as well as Jones’ mother, Cherry Jones, the producers said.
“We both knew full well who Ol’ Dirty Bastard was but this story completely floored us. As filmmakers, we knew that this would make a great film and that Jarred Weisfeld would offer an actor a complicated and compelling character to play,” Knudsen and Van Hoy said in a statement.
Williams starred as Omar Little on “The Wire” and currently plays Chalky White on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.”