EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-winning Precious scribe Geoffrey Fletcher has been set to write I Am a Man, a feature film adaptation in the works from Sycamore Pictures based on Michael K. Honey’s 2007 book about the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers strike that became a turning point in the U.S. civil rights movement.
The strike, carried out by black employees over poor working conditions and discrimination, drew Martin Luther King Jr, the National Guard and the national media for what was a 65-day, often violent labor action. It also was the reason King was in Memphis that April 4; the civil rights icon was there to support the workers’ efforts to unionize when he was assassinated on the balcony of the city’s Lorraine Motel. The strike ended 12 days later.
Sycamore’s Ben Nearn and Tom Rice are producing the pic and have been developing the project since its inception with Director of Development Andrew Terhune. It’s the latest addition to a development slate of films focused on stories that address social justice, redemption, reconciliation and the human condition.
“We feel this film is culturally relevant and vitally important in today’s climate,” said Nearn and Rice. “I Am a Man exposes the long history of racial inequality, paternalism, and economic injustice in this country, that unfortunately continues today.”
Said Fletcher: “In my opinion, some of the best stories combine well-known history with the unknown history surrounding it. This is one of those stories. It is an honor to work on a project of such significance. In these desperate and divided times, this is a story of genuine superheroes.”
Fletcher recently penned Trial by Fire, the Edward Zwick drama that stars Laura Dern and Jack O’Connell. He is repped by CAA.