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.”