‘American Crime’ Creator John Ridley to Direct L.A. Riots Movie for Broad Green, Imagine

Justin Lin was previously attached to direct the ambitious project, which will be produced by Brian Grazer

John Ridley
TheWrap John Ridley

Broad Green Pictures has partnered with Imagine Entertainment to produce and distribute John Ridley‘s untitled film about the infamous Los Angeles riots, the company announced Monday.

Ridley, who won an Oscar for writing “12 Years a Slave” and created the Emmy-winning ABC series “American Crime,” will direct from his own screenplay. Justin Lin was previously attached to direct the film.

Oscar winner Brian Grazer (“A Beautiful Mind”) will produce the film, which will begin principal photography next spring.

The LA riots transformed America’s perceptions on race, justice and economics, and sparked massive change in the LAPD.

In April of 1992, America’s worst civil disturbance in the 20th century took place in Los Angeles. Sparked by the acquittal of four LAPD officers tried for the near-fatal beating of black motorist Rodney King and fueled by racial tension, growing despair surrounding the economic climate, and a deep-seated distrust of law enforcement, the riots left the city devastated. Looting and fires ravaged Los Angeles for four straight days leaving more than 50 dead and 2,300 injured, an estimated $1 billion in property damage and the city divided. Based on true events, the film tells the story through the eyes of several key figures involved in the uprising and the events that led to it.

“This is a seminal event in our country’s history, the reverberations of which are still far too relevant today. We were blown away by John’s amazing screenplay and we know that under his direction and the aegis of Imagine the film will be truly incredible. This is why we started this company. To make movies like this,” said Broad Green founders Gabriel and Daniel Hammond.

“We have barely seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of John Ridley‘s talent,” added Grazer. “I am confident that he will capture the magnitude of the events that unfolded and the issues that led up to them. He will show the world why the riots cannot and should not be forgotten.”

Victor Moyers and Asher Goldstein will oversee the project for Broad Green, while Anna Culp and Alexandre Dauman will oversee the project for Imagine.

The deal was brokered by Brillstein Entertainment and Don and Matthew Walerstein on behalf of Ridley and CAA and Logan Claire of Ziffren Brittenham on behalf of Imagine, while Christopher Tricarico handled for Broad Green.