Judas and the Black Messiah trailer reunites Daniel Kaluuya & LaKeith Stanfield
Warner Bros. Pictures has released the official trailer for director Shaka King’s forthcoming biographical drama film titled Judas and the Black Messiah, featuring the reunion of Get Out stars Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield as they portray the roles of Black Panther activists Fred Hampton and William O’Neal. Produced by Ryan Coogler, the film is scheduled to hit the theaters in 2021. Check out the video in the player below!
RELATED: Steve McQueen’s Small Axe First-Look Photo Features John Boyega
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.
The film’s official synopsis reads: “Chairman Fred Hampton was 21 years old when he was assassinated by the FBI, who coerced a petty criminal named William O’Neal to help them silence him and the Black Panther Party. But they could not kill Fred Hampton’s legacy and, 50 years later, his words still echo…louder than ever: I am a revolutionary!
In 1968, a young, charismatic activist named Fred Hampton became Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, who were fighting for freedom, the power to determine the destiny of the Black community, and an end to police brutality and the slaughter of Black people.
Chairman Fred was inspiring a generation to rise up and not back down to oppression, which put him directly in the line of fire of the government, the FBI and the Chicago Police. But to destroy the revolution, they had to do it from both the outside…and the inside. Facing prison, William O’Neal is offered a deal by the FBI: if he will infiltrate the Black Panthers and provide intel on Hampton, he will walk free. O’Neal takes the deal.
Now a comrade in arms in the Black Panther Party, O’Neal lives in fear that his treachery will be discovered even as he rises in the ranks. But as Hampton’s fiery message draws him in, O’Neal cannot escape the deadly trajectory of his ultimate betrayal.
Though his life was cut short, Fred Hampton’s impact has continued to reverberate. The government saw the Black Panthers as a militant threat to the status quo and sold that lie to a frightened public in a time of growing civil unrest. But the perception of the Panthers was not reality. In inner cities across America, they were providing free breakfasts for children, legal services, medical clinics and research into sickle cell anemia, and political education. And it was Chairman Fred in Chicago, who, recognizing the power of multicultural unity for a common cause, created the Rainbow Coalition—joining forces with other oppressed peoples in the city to fight for equality and political empowerment.”
RELATED: Selma Online Initiative Offers a Free Civil Rights History Guide
Judas and the Black Messiah 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).
The film 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.