After starring as The Falcon for the third time in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, Anthony Mackie is lining up a much different project. The actor has come aboard to star as legendary defense lawyer Johnnie Cochran in an untitled project centering on his landmark Signal Hill police brutality case in 1981. Justin Chadwick (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) has come aboard to direct the Johnnie Cochran Signal Hill Project, which is being set up by The Firm.
Deadline has the news on this project, which will center on the case that put Johnnie Cochran on the map. While the lawyer is most well known for his work in the O.J. Simpson trial, he first made a name for himself with a 1981 police brutality case in the Los Angeles County neighborhood of Signal Hill. The lawyer represented Cal State Long Beach football star Ron Settles, who had been arrested for speeding in Signal Hill. Shortly after his arrest, he was found hung in his cell, which the police called a suicide.
After persuading the family to exhume Ron Settles’ body, an autopsy showed that he had in fact been choked to death. The family was awarded a $765,000 civil settlement and the town’s police chief resigned although no one was charged in Ron Settles’ death. The Signal Hill case is one of many throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s that lead to reform in how police departments handle prisoners.
Justin Chadwick is directing from a script by David McMillan, with Anthony Mackie producing alongside Jason Spire and Robbie Brenner, whose company The Firm is financing and producing. Kevin McKeon and Jeff Kwatinetz will also produce, with David McMillan set to executive produce. Justin Chadwick most recently directed Tulip Fever and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
Anthony Mackie most recently starred in Captain America: Civil War and the HBO movie All the Way, where he portrayed Martin Luther King Jr. alongside Bryan Cranston as Lyndon B. Johnson. The actor is believed to be returning as The Falcon for the Avengers: Infinity War movies, which start production in November. It isn’t known when filming will begin on this untitled Johnnie Cochran/Signal Hill movie, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted as soon as more details come in.