Mahershala Ali is in talks to executive produce and star in a hard-hitting prison drama.
The two-time Oscar winner plans to front Solitary, which is based on the memoir of Albert Woodfox, who spent more than 40 years in solitary confinement in Louisiana’s Angola Prison. The actor reportedly met Woodfox in New Orleans recently after reading the book, which was released earlier this year.
Executives at movie studio Fox Searchlight have bought the movie rights to the book, Solitary: Unbroken by Four Decades In Solitary Confinement, My Story of Transformation and Hope, according to Variety.
The project is in the early stages of development without a director or screenwriter attached. The film will be produced by Jamie Patricof, who previously worked with Ali on The Place Beyond The Pines in 2012.
Woodfox and Herman Wallace were indicted in 1972 for the killing of a prison corrections officer and convicted in 1974. After much campaigning, Woodfox’s conviction was eventually overturned in 2014 and he was released in 2016 after the prosecution accepted his plea of no contest to lesser charges of burglary and manslaughter.
During their time behind bars, Woodfox and Wallace campaigned for prison reform as members of the Black Panther Party.
Wallace was released in 2013 due to having terminal cancer and sadly died three days after his release.
Ali won his first Academy Award for Moonlight, landing the Best Supporting Actor Oscar at the 2017 ceremony. He won the same award again earlier this year for his portrayal of pianist Don Shirley in Green Book.
He recently lead the third season of HBO crime drama True Detective and is gearing up to star in sci-fi movie Sovereign.
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