Spike Lee and Jordan Peele Will Team Up for KKK Thriller ‘Black Klansman’
Of all the news stories you expect to be fake, “Black Sergeant Infiltrates the Klu Klux Klan” would have to be pretty far up there. Only it really happened. For years during the ’70s and ’80s, Officer Ron Stallworth dedicated his life to infiltrating gang cultures, in particular that of the KKK. This is what led Stallworth to become (against all odds) a black card-carrying member of the Klu Klux Klan in the 1970s; unsurprisingly, this is also what makes Stallworth’s story ripe for cinematic adaptation in the year 2017.
As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Jordan Peele and Spike Lee are teaming up for Black Klansman, a biopic following the events surrounding Stallworth’s investigation into the KKK. Peele will serve as producer on the film while Lee takes on the role of director; the movie will also star John David Washington, the star of HBO’s Ballers, as Stallworth himself. The Hollywood Reporter describes the project in their writeup as “momentous,” noting that it involves “two black filmmakers from different generations working on a socially conscious project.” And while it does seem a little trite to position this as the passing of a baton, with this year’s Get Out, Peele certainly does seem poised to take a leading role in movies that deliver entertainment and social commentary in equal amounts. Who better to collaborate on a story like this than Spike and Lee?
As for what you can expect in the film? In a 2006 interview with the Deseret News, Stallworth described the experience of infiltrating a regional branch of the Klu Klux Klan — including being asked to lead the Colorado Springs chapter — as one of the ‘most fun’ investigations he ever worked on, primarily because everyone thought it couldn’t be done. Stallworth would primarily communicate with KKK members via telephone and send a white agent to meetings to serve as his body double. At the time of the article, Stallworth claimed to still carry around his KKK card member, signed by David Duke himself, as a memento of the experience. This only scratches the surface of the story; there will be many more incredible moments for Lee to adapt to the screen in the final version.