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Forest Whitaker to Executive Produce Angela Davis Biopic (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 3/22/2017 Dave McNary
© Provided by Variety

Forest Whitaker has joined Codeblack Films’ untitled Angela Davis biopic movie project as an executive producer, Variety has learned.

Lionsgate’s Codeblack acquired the movie rights last year to “Angela Davis: An Autobiography” and set up the project with Nina Yang Bongiovi, whose credits include “Fruitvale Station,” which Whitaker also produced, and “Dope.” Sidra Smith, a producer on the 2012 documentary “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners,” and Codeblack Enterprises CEO Jeff Clanagan are also serving as producers on the project.

The 73-year-old Davis has been a prominent activist and radical beginning in the 1960s as a leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Angela Davis is serving as an executive producer along with her niece Eisa Davis, who was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in drama for her play “Bulrusher.”

Clanagan launched Codeblack Films as a division of Lionsgate in 2012 with the mission to serve the global black community through a diversified content portfolio targeted to the under-served African-American consumer.

Codeblack acquired theatrical rights in early 2013 to “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners” and partnered with BET Networks for a theatrical release. The documentary, which debuted at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival, centers on Davis being implicated in murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy in connection with the Marin County Courthouse hostage-taking in 1970. She was acquitted two years later.

Whitaker was last seen in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “Arrival.” He’s starring in the heist thriller “Finding Steve McQueen,” Johnny Depp’s police thriller “Labyrinth,” and Marvel-Disney’s “Black Panther.”

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