Anthony Mackie’s movie about superstar attorney Johnnie Cochran appears to have found its director. English filmmaker Justin Chadwick is in talks to helm the yet untitled legal drama centering on the 1981 Signal Hill police brutality case, EW has confirmed.
Chadwick is no stranger to biopics, having previously directed Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. His other credits include The Other Boleyn Girl and the upcoming Tulip Fever.
Mackie, who is best known for playing the high-flying hero Sam Wilson (a.k.a. the Falcon) in the Marvel cinematic universe, is on board to portray Cochran and to produce the film.
Written by David McMillan, the movie 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 was found dead in his jail cell. Police claimed he 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 Cochran would go on to have a long and well known career, serving as the assistant district attorney of Los Angeles County and later representing clients including O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, and Sean Combs.
Cochran died in 2005, but his exploits and outsize personality have recently been brought back into the limelight by the FX miniseries The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and the ESPN documentary O.J.: Made in America.
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news about Chadwick.