Danny Glover and Joslyn Barnes’ Louverture Films is teaming with Bipolar Pictures, owned by Ben Kingsley and Chip Duncan, to produce a film on the friendship between Albert Einstein and Paul Robeson.
It’s one of several Africa-themed pics for New York-based Louverture, including “Touti in Harlem,” a docu from Stephanie Black and Glover’s feature directing bow.
Glover is here with Abderrahmane Sissako’s “Bamako,” which plays Wednesday as a special screening. Glover and Barnes exec produced that pic.
In the bio, Kinsley will play Einstein; Glover will play the actor-singer-activist. The as yet-untitled project is being put out to two major screenwriters, Barnes added.
“Einstein loved music. He and Robeson also formed part of the campaign in 1948 which tried to persuade U.S. President Harry Truman to make lynching a federal crime. Both had FBI files opened on them,” said Glover.
Other Louverture projects, in various stages of production or development, turn on global African experiences and people from the global south.
“Both Joslyn and I love African films and believe there’s a shift in world cinema with the emergence of China, India and South Africa. Producing out of Louverture is a natural evolution,” said Glover.
Ghana-born, London-based helmer John Akomfrah (“Riot”) is attached to direct “Touti in Harlem,” starring the Benin-born Afro pop star Angelique Kidjo from a screenplay by Oren Moverman (“Jesus’ Son”).
Immigration-themed, music-driven contempo story centers on a West African woman who travels to Harlem.
Black (“H-2 Worker”) is shooting “Fanon,” a docu on the remarkable Martinique-born radical Franz Fanon, and the contempo impact of his ideas.
The N.Y.-based Louverture has also confirmed cast on the $30 million “Toussaint,” about 18th century Haitian revolution hero Toussaint L’Ouverture, which will mark Glover’s feature directing debut.
Attached, said Barnes, are Wesley Snipes, Angela Bassett, Don Cheadle, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Roger Guenveur Smith (“Final Destination”), Mos Def, Isaach de Bankole (“Casino Royale”) and Gallic actor Richard Bohringer (“Cavalcade”).
Pic’s script is by Barnes and Vijay Balakrishnan. It is produced by Glover, Barnes, Chris Curling at the U.K.’s Zephyr Films, Genevieve Hofmeyr at South Africa’s Moonlighting and Teboho Mahlatsi, Desiree Markgraaf and Angus Gibson from The Bomb Shelter, also in South Africa.
The film will go into pre-production, shooting in South Africa late 2006 and early 2007, Glover said.
“We’re shooting in South Africa as a commitment to supporting filmmaking there,” Glover added.