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Searchlight Acquires Black List Script ‘The Defender’; Sterling K. Brown To Star, George Tillman Jr. To Direct

Searchlight Acquires Black List Script ‘The Defender’; Sterling K. Brown To Star, George Tillman Jr. To Direct

Searchlight Pictures has snapped up E. Nicholas Mariani’s 2018 Black List script The Defender, which George Tillman Jr. will direct with three-time Emmy-winning actor Sterling K. Brown to star as heroic lawyer Scipio Africanus Jones.

Jones was a courageous attorney who risked his life and career to defend 87 men wrongfully accused of murder in the wake of the Elaine, Ar massacre of 1919, when a group of Black sharecroppers meeting in a church about unionization were attacked by a posse organized by white landowners.

Brown will produce with 21 Laps’ Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen. Mariani and Danielle Reardon will executive produce with Dantram Nguyen, Katie Goodson-Thomas and Richard Ruiz overseeing for Searchlight. Ben Wilkinson, VP Business Affairs and Legal Counsel, negotiated the deal for Searchlight along with WME and CAA on behalf of filmmakers.

Tillman Jr. produced and directed the movie The Hate U Give for Fox 2000 Pictures, based on Angela Thomas’ novel.

See full article on Deadline