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Nate Parker to Direct LAPD Detective Film as First Feature After ‘Birth of a Nation’

Nate Parker has come on board as director of LAPD detective drama “Black & Blue” in his first helming project since “The Birth of a Nation.”

“Black & Blue” is based on the life of unsung LAPD detective Ralph Waddy, who died last year. Parker is rewriting Jim McGrath’s script.

M.B Entertainment’s Steven Jensen has optioned Waddy’s life rights. Jensen will produce along with Darren Enenstein, Shondrella Avery, Adam R. Sanders, and Lenny Rosenberg. Avery will also act in the film. The producers plan to begin filming in July in Los Angeles.

During his tenure at the Los Angeles Police Department, Waddy was involved in the capture of Charles Manson and his followers who were convicted in the 1969 murders of actress Sharon Tate and seven others, and “Skid Row Slasher” Vaughn Orrin Greenwood was convicted of slashing the throats of nine transients in 1974 and 1975.

Waddy’s LAPD tenure also covered the 1965 Watts riots, in which 34 people died, and Robert Kennedy’s assassination at the Ambassador Hotel in 1968 and the rise of the Black Panther Party.

Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation” premiered in 2016 at the Sundance Film Festival, won the Grand Jury Prize in the dramatic competition, and was bought by Fox Searchlight for $17.5 million. Parker starred as Nat Turner in addition to directing from his own script and producing.

Before the film was released, controversy emerged over a rape allegation from 1999 against Parker and co-writer Jean McGianni Celestin. Parker was acquitted of all charges in 2001. The woman who accused Parker and Celestin died by suicide in 2012.

Parker is repped by CAA, Anonymous Content, and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof and Fishman. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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