EXCLUSIVE: Hidden Empire Film Group has acquired screen rights to Alex Owumi’s 2013 autobiography Qaddafi’s Point Guard. The book was adapted into a screenplay by JP Ouellette (Captured) and Ryan Ginnetty, Owumi’s childhood friend and associate. Deon Taylor is set to direct and is producing in conjunction with his Hidden Empire Film Group partners Roxanne Taylor and Robert F. Smith. The company is also financing the film.
Taylor is coming off the Screen Gems summer hit The Intruder, which starred Dennis Quaid and Michael Ealy.
Owumi was a professional basketball player in Libya and the book chronicles his journey after finding himself trapped in Benghazi as the civil war broke out in the spring of 2011. Owumi previously discussed his experiences in Benghazi in his powerful TED Talk in 2014. He spoke about all he witnessed while trapped there and the people that rallied to save him as he journeyed to escape.
HBK F.C.’s Hicham Benkirane, who brought the project to Hidden Empire, will also be producing. Owumi, as well as Emilio Mauro, will be executive producers. Ginnetty is also serving as an executive producer. Taylor and the producing team are currently casting the title role and aim to begin production in late 2020.
“Stories of adversity and overcoming are stories that need to be told at this time and this is one of them,” said Taylor, whose next film, the Naomie Harris- and Tyrese Gibson-starrer Black & Blue, will be released by Sony Screen Gems on October 25. Hidden Empire’s upcoming Hilary Swank-starrer Fatale has been acquired by Lionsgate and will be in theaters on October 9, 2020.
Taylor is repped by WME.
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