EXCLUSIVE: Narcos helmer José Padilha is at the center of a deal by The Mark Gordon Company to give feature treatment to Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age, the 2004 nonfiction National Book Award winner by historian Kevin Boyle. The Mark Gordon Company will finance an adaptation that Padilha will direct, with a script completed by Max Borenstein and Rodney Barnes. Gordon, Hawk Koch, Borenstein and Matt Jackson will produce and Josh Clay Phillips will oversee the production for TMGC.
The book tells the true story of a racial incident in 1925 Detroit that put African American doctor Ossian Sweet on the stand for murder. His defense was funded by the nascent NAACP and was led by legendary lawyer Clarence Darrow. No start date yet, but the movie will happen quickly.
Padilha, who directed Elite Squad and its sequel before taking on the acclaimed Netflix hunt for Pablo Escobar series Narcos, has wrapped Entebbe, which stars Daniel Brühl and Rosamund Pike. He is repped by CAA, Anonymous Content, and Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard. Borenstein’s script work includes Godzilla and the upcoming Kong: Skull Island; he’ll direct his Black List script What Is Life and developed and wrote the TV series Minority Report. UTA, Anonymous Content and attorney Eric Feig rep him. Barnes’ credits include The Runaways for Marvel and Hulu, and the TV series Those Who Can’t, The Boondocks, and Everybody Hates Chris. He is represented by Paradigm, Principato-Young Entertainment, and Fox Rothschild.
UTA brokered the book deal with Christy Fletcher.