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Anthony Mackie to play Johnnie Cochran in legal drama

The untitled film will explore the 1981 Signal Hill police brutality case

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Mike Marsland/WireImage

Anthony Mackie is ready to lay down the law. The Captain America: Civil War actor is set to star as famed attorney Johnnie Cochran in a film about the 1981 Signal Hill police brutality case, EW has confirmed.

Written by David McMillan (TV’s Sleepy Hollow and Lucifer), the yet-untitled drama will recount the the controversial case of Ron Settles, a Cal State Long Beach football player who was stopped for speeding in Signal Hill in Southern California and later found dead in his jail cell. Police claimed Settles hanged himself, but Cochran had his body exhumed, and an autopsy showed he had been choked to death.

Settles’ family won a $760,000 wrongful death settlement, and the chief of police was replaced. The case was a breakthrough for Cochran, who famously would go on to defend O.J. Simpson during his notorious 1995 murder trial. (The latter case was recently dramatized on the FX miniseries The People v. O.J. Simpson, in which Courtney B. Vance portrayed Cochran.)

Mackie, who is best known for playing the winged superhero Falcon in the Marvel cinematic universe, also will serve as a producer on the Cochran film alongside Robbie Brenner and Jason Spire.

Deadline first reported Mackie’s casting.