John Ridley To Tackle Race Relations Again in L.A. Riots Film

Fresh off of the first season of ABC’s American Crime, John Ridley is slated to write and direct a film about the 1992 beating of Rodney King by the L.A.P.D. and the subsequent riots. It’s a subject that’s all too topical considering the growth of outrage against police violence in the United States as well as the Black Lives Matter movement, not to mention the recent successes of films like Ava DuVernay’s Selma and F. Gary Gray’s Straight Outta Compton.

Known mostly for his screenwriting (particularly his work on 2013’s 12 Years a Slave, for which he won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay), the currently untitled project would be Ridley’s third time in the director’s chair, having recently directed André Benjamin (better known as Outkast’s Andre 3000) in the 2013 Jimi Hendrix biopic, Jimi; All Is By My Side.

Ridley’s script had been circulating around Imagine Entertainment, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s production company behind films like American Beauty and 8 Mile and television shows like Arrested Development and Empire, but wasn’t set into motion until Broad Green Pictures entered the picture, offering to produce and distribute the film. In a joint statement, Broad Green Pictures founders CEO Gabriel Hammond and Chief Creative Officer Daniel Hammond said: “We were blown away by John’s amazing screenplay and we know that under his direction and the aegis of Imagine the film will be truly incredible. This is why we started this company. To make movies like this.”