Empire” star Taraji P. Henson will topline the civil rights drama “The Best of Enemies,” set up with “Empire” producer Danny Strong, Tobey Maguire and Matthew Plouffe.

Robin Bissell, an exec producer on “The Hunger Games” and “Seabiscuit,” will make his directorial debut from his own script, based on Osha Gray Davidson’s book “The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South.”

“Empire” star Henson will portray Ann Atwater, a civil rights activist in Durham, N.C., who battled Ku Klux Klan leader C.P. Ellis for a decade until 1971, when the two agreed to co-chair a two-week community meeting to deal with a court-ordered school desegregation decree. That event changed both of their lives immeasurably.

Henson is repped by Vincent Cirrincione Associates and SMGSBLaw.