John Ridley to Direct L.A. Riots Movie for Broad Green, Imagine

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Ridley, who won the Oscar for his '12 Years a Slave' screenplay, set up his script years ago at Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment.

Prolific screenwriter John Ridley will direct his Rodney King L.A. riots movie for Broad Green and Imagine Entertainment.

Broad Green has come aboard to produce and distribute the movie. Ridley's script has long been set up at Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment.

Ridley, who won a writing Oscar for 12 Years a Slave and is the creator of American Crime, will begin principal photography in spring 2016. Grazer is producing. The L.A. riots film marks one of Ridley's first turns in the director's chair.

The untitled film will cover the events of April 1992, when the acquittal of four L.A.P.D. police officers for the near-fatal beating of King led to devastating riots in Los Angeles that left more than 50 dead and 2,300 injured.

"This is a seminal event in our country's history, the reverberations of which are still far too relevant today. We were blown away by John's amazing screenplay and we know that under his direction and the aegis of Imagine, the film will be truly incredible. This is why we started this company. To make movies like this," said Broad Green founders Gabriel and Daniel Hammond in a statement.

Added Grazer, "We have barely seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of John Ridley’s talent. I am confident that he will capture the magnitude of the events that unfolded and the issues that led up to them. He will show the world why the riots cannot and should not be forgotten."

The deal was brokered by Brillstein Entertainment and Don Walerstein and Matthew Wallerstein on behalf of Ridley and CAA and Logan Claire at Ziffren Brittenham on behalf of Imagine Entertainment. Broad Green executive vp business and legal affairs and general counsel Christopher Tricarico handled for Broad Green Pictures. 

Ridley is repped by CAA.

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