Fresh off his work on last year’s remake of The Magnificent Seven, director Antoine Fuqua has reportedly set his sights on an original drama about the Black Panther Party. More immediately, fan of Fuqua’s 2014 neo-noir action/thriller The Equalizer – starring Fuqua’s Oscar-winning Training Day and Magnificent Seven collaborator Denzel Washington as a former, deadly government operative – are probably more than a little happy that the director is currently hard at work on the sequel, The Equalizer 2.
Filming on The Equalizer sequel begins this fall, with Washington and Fuqua aiming to serve up more vigilante justice in the grimy Equalizer universe for a 2018 theatrical release. So long as everything goes according to plan on The Equalizer 2, Fuqua will thereafter move onto the aforementioned Black Panther Party drama – a film that Fuqua has been wanting to make for some time now.
Deadline is reporting that Fuqua has just signed a first-look deal with Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, in order to bring The Equalizer 2 and other percolating projects to life in the near future – most notably including an original drama about the life and times of the late Black Panther Party revolutionary Fred Hampton. Taking inspiration from the book The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther by Jeffrey Haas, Fuqua intends to examine the tumultuous career of Hampton; including his time spent as the head of the Black Panthers’ Detroit chapter and deputy chairman of the national organization.
Historically well-known for being killed during a raid of his apartment by the Chicago Police Department in December 1969, Hampton’s death was later ruled a justifiable homicide, and his legacy has continued to this day as a key piece to scholars looking to understand the social implications and cultural ramifications of the Black Panther Party. Set to be produced following work on The Equalizer 2, Fuqua should be able to breathe new life into a potentially controversial story.
Fuqua has never shied away from hardboiled content in the past, and with his forthcoming feature-length endeavors in the forms of The Equalizer 2 and the Black Panther drama to look forward to, he doesn’t appear to be stopping from doing so any time soon. The Fuqua-led project isn’t the only Black Panther drama/thriller in active development either, what with Fast & Furious and Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin helming Netflix’s The Stand Off – a film based on the LAPD’s infamous SWAT team raid of the Panthers’ LA headquarters in 1969 – also moving forward.