LOS ANGELES – March 5, 2020 – Participant and BRON Creative have come on board to co-finance Warner Bros. Pictures and MACRO’s Untitled Fred Hampton Project, which tells the powerful story of Fred Hampton, Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, and William O’Neal, the undercover FBI informant who betrays him. Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Anikah McLaren and BRON Creative’s Aaron L. Gilbert and Jason Cloth are executive producing, with MACRO’s Kim Roth and Poppy Hanks, along with Sev Ohanian, Zinzi Evans, Niija Kuykendall, Ravi Mehta and Ted Gidlow. Charles D. King, Ryan Coogler and Shaka King are producing. MACRO is also a co-financier of the film.
Shaka King directed the film, from a screenplay he co-wrote with Will Berson, story by Shaka King & Will Berson and Keith Lucas & Kenny Lucas. The film, which is now in post-production, is slated for release on August 21, 2020.
“We are thrilled to partner again with Warner Bros. and MACRO on a film that is so incredibly relevant to the moment,” said Participant CEO David Linde. “The story is a crucial part of our history, and to be joining filmmakers like Shaka, Ryan and Charles to help amplify their work is amazing.”
“We are proud to be a part of the collective team with Warner Bros. Pictures, Participant and MACRO in bringing Fred Hampton’s incredible story to life,” said BRON CEO Aaron L. Gilbert.
Jason Cloth, Founder and CEO of Creative Wealth Media, said, “The array of storytelling talent involved with this project speaks to the power and gravitas of its subject matter. Being in the world-class company of Warner Bros., Participant, MACRO and Ryan is inspiring, and ensures Fred’s story will be crafted brilliantly on screen.”
The film is set in 1968 Chicago, where Fred Hampton has risen to Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panthers—a small but growing group of passionate social activists—putting him on the national stage…and in the crosshairs of the FBI and the Chicago Police Department. Needing intel on their prime target, FBI Special Agent Roy Mitchell makes a deal with petty criminal William O’Neal: O’Neal will avoid prison if he infiltrates Hampton’s inner circle to act as an FBI informant. In the months that follow, O’Neal rises in the ranks of the Panthers, growing increasingly fearful that they will discover his betrayal. But as he becomes swept up in Hampton’s powerful message, O’Neal begins to question his own loyalties…even as the police and FBI are closing in.
Academy Award® nominee Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) portrays Fred Hampton and LaKeith Stanfield (Atlanta) plays William O’Neal. The film also stars Jesse Plemons as Roy Mitchell, Dominique Fishback as Deborah Johnson, Ashton Sanders as Larry Roberson, Algee Smith as Jake Winters and Martin Sheen as J. Edgar Hoover.
Untitled Fred Hampton Project will be a crucial part of Participant’s social impact work focused on challenging racism and inequity in our systems and policies by looking through the lens of history and lived experiences. Recent Participant titles that have contributed to this work include America To Me, When They See Us, Just Mercy, and the upcoming John Lewis: Good Trouble.
The deal expands Warner Bros.’ relationship with BRON Creative, the joint venture between BRON Studios, led by Aaron L. Gilbert, and Creative Wealth Media, led by Jason Cloth, who previously co-financed Joker, the box office record-breaking film from Todd Phillips, which won two Academy Awards® and received 11 nominations.