HOLLYWOOD, Calif., March 3, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been tapped by Amazon to produce a film about the birth of the KKK.
“The Hollywood Reporter” said Amazon has acquired feature film rights to the period drama “K Troop,” which has Gordon-Levitt set to produce and potentially star in.
Taking place just after the Civil War, the story focuses on the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in the American South and the man who led the U.S. Army’s elite K Troop to crush the Klan in 1871.
In the early 1900s the KKK became popular once again in the South, and by the 1920s had become a national movement.
Gordon-Levitt is developing the project with an eye to star as Major Lewis Merrill, the leader of the division. An enigmatic man and brilliant military strategist, Merrill built a sprawling network of informants, including a number of local African-Americans, who risked their lives to piece together the secretive workings of the KKK.
With race right now a centerpiece conversation in Hollywood, and with questions of diversity at the Academy Awards, the film will undoubtedly create an interesting buzz.
According to “The Hollywood Reporter,” the Ku Klux Klan has been in the news in recent weeks, with provocative anti-immigration rhetoric and endorsing Donald Trump for president. The Klan was also involved in a demonstration over the weekend in Southern California that turned violent, with KKK members fighting with counter-protesters. Five people were injured, and 13 people arrested.
Gordon-Levitt is no stranger to controversial subjects. He stars in Oliver Stone’s upcoming “Snowden,” in which he plays the exiled CIA contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked classified U.S. government information and fled the country.