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Anthony Mackie to Make Feature Directorial Debut on ‘Spark’

”King Richard“ breakout Saniyya Sidney is set to star as Civil Rights pioneer Claudette Colvin

Anthony Mackie is set to make his feature directorial debut on “Spark,” according to an individual with knowledge of the project.

The project centers on Civil Rights pioneer Claudette Colvin, and has “King Richard” breakout Saniyya Sidney attached to star. Sidney played Venus Williams in “King Richard” opposite Will Smith.

On March 2, 1955, Colvin was arrested when she was only 15 years old in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her seat to a white woman on a crowded, segregated bus. This occurred nine months before Rosa Parks did the same thing which led to the Montgomery Bus boycotts.

Niceole R. Levy, who previously collaborated with Mackie on “The Banker,” is writing the screenplay.  Mackie and the filmmakers obtained the life rights of Colvin, and are working with the family.

“Not only was I moved, I was inspired,” Mackie said in a statement to Deadline, which first reported the news. “It’s great to be a superhero in movies but she’s a real live one living amongst us and I’m honored to tell her story.”

Colvin added: “67 years ago, when history glued me to the seat of that bus in Montgomery, I could never have imagined that standing up for my rights could spark a movement that would change the course of history. It is really an honor to have my story retold, by Mr. Mackie, for future generations to learn about our past so they can move forward knowing that progress is possible, and things do get better. I hope my story will inspire youth to continue to fight for civil rights and human dignity.”

“Spark” will be a co-production between Make it with Gravy Productions, Mansa Productions, Mandalay Pictures in Association with Ambergreen Entertainment. Along with directing, Mackie is producing “Spark” with Kellon Akeem, Jason Michael Berman and Marc Ambrose.

Sidney will next be seen playing Sasha Obama in Showtime’s “The First Lady,” opposite Viola Davis.

Mackie will next suit up as Sam Wilson in the fourth “Captain America” installment.

Mackie is repped by UTA and Inspire Entertainment. Colvin is repped by Roseboro Holdings. Levy is repped by WME and The Shuman Company. Sidney is repped by CAA, Transcend Talent Management and Ziffren Brittenham.