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Nick Searcy has joined the cast of civil rights drama “The Best of Enemies” opposite Babou Ceesay, Sam Rockwell and Taraji P. Henson.

Production commences in Atlanta later this month under Fred Bernstein’s Astute Films banner with Danny Strong, Tobey Maguire, Matthew Plouffe, Bernstein, Matt Berenson, Robin Bissell, and Dominique Telson producing. Rick Jackson and Jeremiah Samuels are executive producers.

Bissell, an exec producer on “The Hunger Games,” 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.” The story centers on civil rights activist Ann Atwater (Henson) who battled KKK leader C.P. Ellis (Rockwell) 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.

UTA Independent Film Group is representing domestic rights to “The Best of Enemies.”

Searcy will play the role of the wealthy leader of the White Citizen’s Council, an organization that catered to more prominent members of Durham society, but was as racist as the Klan. Searcy will next be seen in Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming American romance fantasy film, “The Shape of Water.”

Other recent credits include his series regular role on “Justified” and Hulu’s J.J. Abrams series “11/22/63.” Searcy is represented by APA, and Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Entertainment Law Firm.