×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Rodney King’: Netflix Releases First Trailer for Spike Lee Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

The first trailer for Netflix’s “Rodney King” takes viewers back a quarter of a century to the 1991 beating of King and the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

“Before you know it, you’re the first reality TV star,” intones Roger Guenveur Smith, filmed last year by Spike Lee in a one-man show. The streaming service has scheduled the project to premiere on April 28.

In the trailer, Smith can also be seen citing LAPD officer Stacey Koon as quoting Marvin Gaye with the phrase, “Let’s get it,” prior to beating King.

The date for airing “Rodney King” has been chosen to coincide with the upcoming 25th anniversary of the state court acquittals of Koon and three other LAPD officers who were videotaped beating King in 1991. The acquittals, which took place in Simi Valley, California, sparked three days of rioting that left 53 dead.

The trailer also explores that role King played in ending the rioting, thanks to an interview he gave on May 1, 1992, the third day of the disruptions. A clearly distraught King asked plaintively, “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?”

King died in 2012 by drowning, following a lifetime of battling alcohol and drug abuse and repeated run-ins with the law. The events led Smith to explore King’s life as the basis for a one-man show.

In addition to starring in “Rodney King,” Smith also serves as an executive producer. Steven Adams and Bob L. Johnson are producing for Luna Ray Media and Matthew Helderman, Luke Taylor, and Patrick DePeters are executive producing for Buffalo 8 Productions.

More Film

  • Davids Chief Piera Detassis on Revamping

    Davids Chief Piera Detassis on Revamping Italy's Top Film Awards

    Piera Detassis recently became the first woman to head the David di Donatello Awards, Italy’s equivalent of the Oscars. Since then she’s been busy overhauling the inner workings of the prizes that will be awarded on Wednesday. Detassis, also the editor of Italian film publication Ciak, spoke exclusively to Variety about the challenges she’s faced [...]

  • Matteo Garrone's 'Dogman' Leads Davids Awards

    Matteo Garrone's 'Dogman' Leads Davids Awards Race

    With 15 nominations Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman” leads the pack of contenders for Italy’s David di Donatello Awards in a watershed year for the country’s top film nods that sees highbrow auteur titles reaping most of the David love just as local box-office grosses hit an all-time low. Garrone’s gritty revenge drama is followed closely with [...]

  • steven spielberg Apple TV Plus

    Steven Spielberg's Apple Appearance Riles Up Social Media: 'Big Old Mixed Message'

    Many Hollywood heavyweights flocked to Apple’s Cupertino, Calif. headquarters to help reveal the tech giant’s revamped steaming service Apple TV+ on Monday — but one such legend was so polarizing he became a national trending topic on Twitter for simply showing his face. Steven Spielberg was the first to appear in a dramatic short film [...]

  • Michael Lynne

    Former New Line Co-Chairman Michael Lynne Dies at 77

    Michael Lynne, the former co-chairman of New Line Cinema who played a key role in shepherding the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, has died at his New York home. He was 77. Lynne’s death was confirmed Monday by longtime business partner Robert Shaye, who told Variety that Lynne’s family had informed him of Lynne’s passing [...]

  • Marisa Liston

    Sony Veteran Marisa Liston to Lead Lionsgate Movie Publicity

    Lionsgate has named Sony Pictures veteran executive Marisa Liston to lead all feature film and motion picture group publicity and communications strategy. Liston, who departed Sony in late 2018 after 17 years, has been assigned the newly created title of head of global earned media and communications. She will oversee domestic and international feature film [...]

  • Studios Spurn WGA Request to Ban

    Studios Reject WGA Request to Ban Non-Franchised Talent Agents

    Studios have rejected a request by the Writers Guild of America to bar non-franchised talent agents if the current franchise agreement expires on April 7, saying it could expose them to extensive legal damages. The WGA will hold five days of member voting starting March 27 on a proposed “code of conduct” eliminating agency packaging [...]

  • Colin Firth

    Colin Firth's Fantasy-Drama 'The Secret Garden' Bought by STX

    STXFilms has acquired North American distribution rights to “The Secret Garden,” a movie adaptation of the beloved children’s novel that was in development at Global Road Entertainment for the past year. The film stars Oscar winner Colin Firth and Julie Walters. Marc Munden (“The Crimson Petal and the White”) directs from a script by Jack [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content