Russell Crowe Eyes Race Drama ‘Arc of Justice’ With David Oyelowo

russell crowe arc of justice

Russell Crowe is circling the race drama “Arc of Justice,” according to new reports. Should the deal close, Crowe would join “Selma” star David Oyelowo, who is currently officially attached to the film.

“Narcos” director Jose Padilha is directing the film based on Kevin Boyle’s 2004 nonfiction book of the same name.

The book’s official synopsis also provides a glimpse at the film’s plot, below:

An electrifying story of the sensational murder trial that divided a city and ignited the civil rights struggle

In 1925, Detroit was a smoky swirl of jazz and speakeasies, assembly lines and fistfights. The advent of automobiles had brought workers from around the globe to compete for manufacturing jobs, and tensions often flared with the KKK in ascendance and violence rising. Ossian Sweet, a proud Negro doctor-grandson of a slave-had made the long climb from the ghetto to a home of his own in a previously all-white neighborhood. Yet just after his arrival, a mob gathered outside his house; suddenly, shots rang out: Sweet, or one of his defenders, had accidentally killed one of the whites threatening their lives and homes.

And so it began-a chain of events that brought America’s greatest attorney, Clarence Darrow, into the fray and transformed Sweet into a controversial symbol of equality. Historian Kevin Boyle weaves the police investigation and courtroom drama of Sweet’s murder trial into an unforgettable tapestry of narrative history that documents the volatile America of the 1920s and movingly re-creates the Sweet family’s journey from slavery through the Great Migration to the middle class. Ossian Sweet’s story, so richly and poignantly captured here, is an epic tale of one man trapped by the battles of his era’s changing times.

Arc of Justice is the winner of the 2004 National Book Award for Nonfiction.

Max Borenstein and Rodney Barnes penned the screenplay. The Mark Gordon Company is financing the project. In addition, Mark Gordon, Hawk Koch, Borenstein and MGC’s Matt Jackson will produce.

Stay tuned for further details, including a release date, for “Arc of Justice.”

Tell us: What do you think of “Arc of Justice” so far? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and on the message boards!

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Written by Lauren Huff

Lauren Huff is a film and awards geek. When she's not writing about film and the industry, she's drinking coffee, reading mystery novels or hanging out with her husband and stinking-cute puppy. She's reported from the red carpets of Austin Film Festival, SXSW and various film premieres. Her work has appeared in several outlets, including Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, Us Weekly and more.

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