David Oyelowo to Star in Race Drama 'Arc of Justice'

David Oyelowo - Getty - H 2017
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Jose Padilha is helming the project based on a true story about an African-American doctor who was tried for murder in Detroit in 1925.

David Oyelowo will star in Arc of Justice, playing a doctor who was tried for murder in Detroit in 1925.

Narcos helmer Jose Padilha is directing the film based on Kevin Boyle's 2004 nonfiction book Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age. The story tells the true story of a racial incident in 1925 Detroit that put African-American doctor Ossian Sweet on the stand for murder for simply defending his newly bought property against a mob of white rioters — during which his defense was funded by the nascent NAACP and led by legendary lawyer Clarence Darrow.

Max Borenstein and Rodney Barnes wrote the script for the project, which is being financed by The Mark Gordon Company. Mark Gordon, Hawk Koch, Max Borenstein and MGC’s Matt Jackson will produce the feature. Josh Clay Phillips will oversee the production for MGC.

UTA and CAA packaged the project, and co-represent the domestic distribution rights.

Oyelowo received critical acclaim for playing another real-life person: Martin Luther King Jr. in Ava DuVernay's Selma. The actor was most recently seen in Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom with Rosamund Pike and Disney’s Queen of Katwe with Lupita Nyong’o. His upcoming projects include Nash Edgerton’s untitled directorial project with Charlize Theron and the next Cloverfield movie with Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Oyelowo is repped by CAA, Hamilton Hodell in the U.K., Inphenate and Schreck Rose.

Padilha is an executive producer on the popular Netflix series Narcos and has directed several episodes. He also helmed the 2014 film Robocop and the upcoming project Entebbe with Rosamund Pike. Padilha is repped by CAA and Anonymous Content.