Justin Lin to Fight the Power as Director of Black Panthers vs. SWAT Drama ‘The Stand Off’
Take a look at the cool, cool dude in the shades pictured above. That‘s the face of a man who knows he‘s on top of the world. Dollar signs pop into studio executives’ eyes when they look at Justin Lin, the director who shepherded such massive operations as Fast and Furious films 3-6 and last summer’s Star Trek Beyond through production. He’s effectively laid claim to the summer blockbuster form, and like any skilled filmmaker chafing under studio supervision, he’s making a foray into weightier drama and increased creative control. Lin’s newly announced next project will see him moving both to Netflix and back to the weightier drama of his earlier films Shopping for Fangs and Better Luck Tomorrow.
Deadline has the exclusive that Netflix has tapped Lin to take the reins on their upcoming drama film The Stand Off, a dramatization of the historic 1969 clash between the black-power liberationists known as the Black Panther Party and Los Angeles’ then recently-established hostile peacekeeping force (how’s that for an oxymoron) known as SWAT. The deadlocked showdown that followed ultimately claimed the lives of two Panthers, and the following inquest into Fred Hampton’s murder shook the black community of L.A. Working from a script by Black Swan writer Mark Heyman, the film would depict the raid from the perspectives of both the gunmen and the Panthers.
Racial tensions will make this a topical, high-tension project, and a refreshing departure for big-budget maestro Lin. We know that he can drive cars over other cars and magick exploding spaceships out of thin air — now to see if he can still handle drama between human beings.