EXCLUSIVE: Identity Films, Hyperion Media Group and Sea Change Media set Black List writer Rosalind Ross to script Black Sam, the true-life story of vigilante pirate Samuel Bellamy. Casey Affleck will produce under his Sea Change Media banner, along with Anthony Mastromauro for Identity Films and Hyperion’s Michael Mailis. Sea Change’s head of development and production, Whitaker Lader, will be exec producer.
Black Sam is the true story of Samuel “Black Sam” Bellamy, an impoverished colonist turned pirate who waged a year-long war against British oppression in the early 18th century. Dubbed “Sam the Good,” Bellamy was considered the Robin Hood of pirates; he ruled his fleet democratically, freed slaves, and stole from wealthy, British merchants to give to the poor. Despite his short career, Sam remains the wealthiest pirate in recorded history.
Ross scripted the WWII drama Destroyer, which Mel Gibson will direct, and Barbie and Ruth for Bold Films with Reese Witherspoon attached to star. Her script Barbarian made the 2016 Black List.
Anthony Mastromauro at Identity Films’ produced the David Lowery-directed The Old Man & the Gun which Affleck co-stars in alongside Robert Redford and Sissy Spacek. That film premieres next week in Toronto and Fox Searchlight releases September 28.
“Sam is a classic hero with intense idealism and conviction whose actions spurred a change in the course of history, but even more poignant is the sacrifice he made for love,” said Ross. “Sam’s story shows the durability of hope and humanity in the darkest, most depraved conditions.”
Sea Change Media is currently in post-production on Light of My Life, which Affleck wrote, directed, and stars in. In addition to The Old Man & the Gun, Identity Films’ Mastromauro recently produced Mark Steven Johnson’s Finding Steve McQueen starring Travis Fimmel, Forest Whitaker, Rachael Taylor, and William Fichtner. Mailis’ recent credits include the Rebecca Miller-directed Maggie’s Plan; the Corin Hardy-directed The Hallow, Act of Valor, and Hyperion is currently in pre-production on Guns Akimbo, starring Daniel Radcliffe.
Ross is represented by WME, Heroes and Villains Entertainment and Jackoway Austen. Affleck is repped by WME and Ziffren Brittenham. Mastromauro is represented by Linda Lichter and Hyperion by Matthew Hooper of Interactive Media and Entertainment Law.