The Council

Status:  Pre-Production
Genre:   Drama/Biography
Rating:  TBD
Director:  Peter Landesman
Studio(s):   Anonymous Nobodies, Jackson Pictures, Overbrook Entertainment, Netflix
Running Time:  TBD
Cast:  Will Smith

Story:   The thriller centers on a crime syndicate consisting of seven African-American men who ruled Harlem in the 1970s and early 80s with the goal of establishing a self-sufficient and self-policing African American city-state, funded by revolutionizing the drug game.  The movie centers on the Shakespearean court intrigue between The Council’s king, Nicky Barnes, dubbed ‘Mr. Untouchable’ by the New York Times, and all the different members as one unlikely rising protégé emerges.

The real-life Barnes partnered with the Italian-American Mafia on international drug distribution until his arrest in 1978. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and became a federal informant under the witness protection program. Barnes died in 2012.  Barnes has been a secondary character in films before, he was portrayed by Sean Combs in the 2005 film “Carlito’s Way: Rise to Power” and by Cuba Gooding, Jr., in the 2007 film “American Gangster.”  The new film will be the first to focus squarely on Barnes and his criminal enterprise.  Source(s):  Variety; Indiewire; Slash Film; Pintrest; Vibe.