Blumhouse’s upcoming Black Klansman has added two new cast members, with Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) and Laura Harrier (Spider-Man: Homecoming) joining the previously-announced John David Washington. Focus Features is distributing the film, with Spike Lee directing, while also producing with Get Out director Jordan Peele and his MonkeyPaw Productions company, QC Entertainment and Blumhouse. No production schedule has been given, but since this cast seems to be coming together quite quickly, filming may be starting sooner rather than later.
The project will be based on the incredible true story of Ron Stallworth, a detective in Colorado Springs, Colorado, who took on the Ku Klux Klan in an innovative way, after finding an ad in a local newspaper seeking new members for the KKK in 1978. He was not only able to become a KKK member, but also rose to become the local chapter president, while no one within the organization was aware that Stallworth was actually an African-American man. He would send a white police officer to take his place for any in-person meetings, but he would often communicate with Klansmen via phone and letters, and with the information he was able to gather, he managed to sabotage a number of cross burnings and other KKK activities.
John David Washington, the son of Denzel Washington who currently stars on HBO’s Ballers, has been set to play Ron Stallworth, with Adam Driver playing Flip, a Jewish undercover police officer who is the best officer the Colorado Springs force has to offer. While he has several years of experience, and he’s said to be a “quick study” who is brave and dedicated to the force, he is also an anti-social perfectionist who is often critical of others’ mistakes. It hasn’t been confirmed, but it’s possible that Adam Driver could be playing the undercover officer that Stallworth would send in his place for in-person meetings for the racist hate group.
While Laura Harrier is joining the cast, there is no indication as to what character she may be playing, or how many other major characters have yet to be cast for this true story adaptation. Spike Lee is directing from a screenplay that was adapted by the writing team of Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz, along with Spike Lee and Kevin Willmont. Spike Lee and Jordan Peele have been developing the movie for the past two years, producing alongside QC Entertainment’s Shaun Reddick, Sean McKittrick and Raymond Mansfield, and Jason Blum at Blumhouse Productions. While Focus Features will distribute, no release date has been set at this time.
The title is not in any way related to the 1966 blaxploitation film The Black Klansman, which followed an African-American man who goes deep within the KKK ranks, seeking vengeance for the death of his daughter. Adam Driver is best known for his role as Kylo Ren in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and he most recently starred in Paterson, Silence, Logan Lucky and The Meyerowitz Stories. Laura Harrier most recently played Liz Allan in this summer’s superhero blockbuster Spider-Man: Homecoming, and she’s currently filming Fahrenheit 451 for HBO. Deadline broke the news on today’s casting, so hopefully we’ll hear more on Black Klansman soon.