Amazon Studios announced Monday it has picked up the rights to “I Helped Destroy People,” a post-9/11 true-story co-produced by Michael B. Jordan and starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
Written by “Hand of God” screenwriter Ben Watkins and adapted from the New York Times article of the same name by Janet Reitman, “I Helped Destroy People” will see Abdul-Mateen play Terry Albury, the FBI’s only Black agent in its Minneapolis field office and a firsthand witness to the racist and xenophobic practices of his colleagues and superiors.
After the 9/11 attacks, Albury became the only Black agent involved in a surveillance program of Muslim and immigrant communities. Frustrated by the corruption in his office, Albury leaked documents about the surveillance program to The Intercept, leading to the Trump Administration arresting him on charges of violating the Espionage Act of 1917. Albury pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison.
Abdul-Mateen will produce through his House Eleven10 banner, while Jordan will produce with Elizabeth Raposo through Outlier Society, which has a first-look production deal with Amazon. Other Outlier Society productions that will be released by Amazon include “The Greatest,” a series based on the life of Muhammad Ali.
Abdul-Mateen, who most recently appeared in “The Matrix Resurrections,” is also set to star alongside Jake Gyllenhaal in the Michael Bay thriller “Ambulance” next month and will reprise his role as the DC villain Black Manta in Warner Bros.’ “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” next year. Jordan is set to produce, direct and star in “Creed III,” which will be released by MGM this Thanksgiving.
Abdul-Mateen II, Jordan and Outlier Society are represented by M88, WME, R&CPMK and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole. Watkins is represented by WME and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof and Fishman. Albury is represented by Joshua L. Dratel and Leon Friedman. Reitman is represented by UTA and Laurie Liss at Sterling Lord Literistic. UTA brokered the deal on Albury and Reitman’s behalf.