Warner Bros.’ Judas and the Black Messiah Sets 2021 Release Date
Warner Bros. Pictures has finally set the release date for director Shaka King’s forthcoming biopic drama Judas and the Black Messiah after more than eight months since it was temporarily pulled from the studio’s release schedule. Originally scheduled for an August 21, 2020 release, the Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield-led film has now been pushed back to February 12, 2021, with a simultaneous premiere in theaters and on HBO Max.
Based on true events, Judas and the Black Messiah (formerly titled as Jesus Was My Homeboy) chronicles the rise of Black Panther chairman Fred Hampton leading up to his assassination, all told from the perspective of William O’Neal, the FBI informant who infiltrated the Panthers and gave the information that led to Hampton’s death.
In the film, FBI informant William O’Neal infiltrates the Illinois Black Panther Party and is tasked with keeping tabs on their charismatic leader, Chairman Fred Hampton. A career thief, O’Neal revels in the danger of manipulating both his comrades and his handler, Special Agent Roy Mitchell. Hampton’s political prowess grows just as he’s falling in love with fellow revolutionary Deborah Johnson. Meanwhile, a battle wages for O’Neal’s soul. Will he align with the forces of good? Or subdue Hampton and The Panthers by any means, as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover commands?
It stars Oscar-nominated actor Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Black Panther) as Fred Hampton, LaKeith Stanfield (Short Term 12, Sorry to Bother You) as William O’Neal, Jesse Plemons (Fargo) as Roy Mitchell, Dominique Fishback (The Deuce) as Deborah Johnson, Ashton Sanders (Moonlight) as Larry Roberson, Martin Sheen (The West Wing) as J. Edgar Hoover, Algee Smith (The Hate U Give) as Jake Winters, Lil Rel Howery (Get Out) as Brian, Jermaine Fowler (Coming 2 America) as Mark Clark, and Darrell Britt-Gibson (Just Mercy) as Bobby Rush. It will also feature Dominique Thorne (If Beale Street Could Talk), Amari Cheatom (Django Unchained), and Caleb Eberhardt (The Post).
Judas and the Black Messiah is directed by Shaka King from a script he co-wrote with Will Berson which was based on a story developed by King, Berson, Kenny Lucas and Keith Lucas. It is being produced by Ryan Coogler, and Charles D. King with Sev Ohanian, Zinzi Coogler, Kim Roth, Poppy Hanks, Ravi Mehta, Jeff Skoll, Anikah McLaren, Aaron L. Gilbert, Jason Cloth, Ted Gidlow, and Niija Kuykendall serving as executive producers.