50 years after the assassination of prolific civil rights leader/Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton at the hands of the FBI, his life story is being brought to the big screen courtesy of Shaka King.
A timely release given the burning spotlight on racial injustice, the film – titled ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ – tells his story via a star-studded cast toplined by the likes of Academy Award-nominee Daniel Kaluuya (as Hampton), Lakeith Stanfield (as his ‘Judas’ William O’Neal), Ashton Sanders, Algee Smith, Martin Sheen, and more.
Ryan Coogler (director of Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’) and Charles King serve as producers.
See the official trailer inside:
Originally set for an August 2020 release, the biopic was pushed to 2021 due to the current global health crisis.
Read its official plot below:
“Chairman Fred Hampton was 21 years old when he was assassinated by the FBI, who coerced a petty criminal named William O’Neal to help them silence him and the Black Panther Party. But they could not kill Fred Hampton’s legacy and, 50 years later, his words still echo…louder than ever. I am a revolutionary! In 1968, a young, charismatic activist named Fred Hampton became Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, who were fighting for freedom, the power to determine the destiny of the Black community, and an end to police brutality and the slaughter of Black people. Chairman Fred was inspiring a generation to rise up and not back down to oppression, which put him directly in the line of fire of the government, the FBI and the Chicago Police. But to destroy the revolution, they had to do it from both the outside…and the inside. Facing prison, William O’Neal is offered a deal by the FBI: if he will infiltrate the Black Panthers and provide intel on Hampton, he will walk free. O’Neal takes the deal. Now a comrade in arms in the Black Panther Party, O’Neal lives in fear that his treachery will be discovered even as he rises in the ranks. But as Hampton’s fiery message draws him in, O’Neal cannot escape the deadly trajectory of his ultimate betrayal. Though his life was cut short, Fred Hampton’s impact has continued to reverberate. The government saw the Black Panthers as a militant threat to the status quo and sold that lie to a frightened public in a time of growing civil unrest. But the perception of the Panthers was not reality. In inner cities across America, they were providing free breakfasts for children, legal services, medical clinics and research into sickle cell anemia, and political education. And it was Chairman Fred in Chicago, who, recognizing the power of multicultural unity for a common cause, created the Rainbow Coalition—joining forces with other oppressed peoples in the city to fight for equality and political empowerment.”