FBI informant William O’Neal (LaKeith Stanfield) infiltrates the Illinois Black Panther Party and is tasked with keeping tabs on their charismatic leader, Chairman Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya). A career thief, O’Neal revels in the danger of manipulating both his comrades and his handler, Special Agent Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons). Hampton’s political prowess grows just as he’s falling in love with fellow revolutionary Deborah Johnson (Dominique Fishback). Meanwhile, a battle wages for O’Neal’s soul. Will he align with the forces of good? Or subdue Hampton and The Panthers by any means, as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover (Martin Sheen) commands?Inspired by true events, “Judas and the Black Messiah” is directed by Shaka King, marking his studio feature film directorial debut. The project originated with King and his writing partner, Will Berson, who co-wrote the screenplay, and Kenny Lucas & Keith Lucas, who co-wrote the story with Berson & King. King, who has a long relationship with filmmaker Ryan Coogler (“Fruitvale Station”), pitched the film to Coogler and Charles D. King (“Just Mercy,” “Fences”), who are producing the film with Shaka King. The executive producers are Sev Ohanian, Zinzi Coogler, Kim Roth, Poppy Hanks, Ravi Mehta, Jeff Skoll, Anikah McLaren, Aaron L. Gilbert, Jason Cloth, Ted Gidlow, and Niija Kuykendall.
Daniel Kaluuya (second from left) as Fred Hampton, with, from left, Dominque Thorne, Darrell Britt-Gibson and Caleb Eberhardt. -Warner Bros.
“Judas and the Black Messiah” stars Oscar nominee Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out,” “Widows,” “Black Panther”) as Fred Hampton and LaKeith Stanfield (“Atlanta,” “The Girl in the Spider’s Web”) as William O’Neal. The film also stars Jesse Plemons (“Vice,” “Game Night,” “The Post”), Dominique Fishback (“The Hate U Give,” “The Deuce”), Ashton Sanders (“The Equalizer 2,” “Moonlight”) and Martin Sheen (“The Departed,” TV’s “The West Wing,” TV’s “Grace & Frankie”).
The ensemble cast also includes Algee Smith (“The Hate U Give,” “Detroit”), Darrell Britt-Gibson (“Just Mercy,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Dominique Thorne (“If Beale Street Could Talk”), Amari Cheatom (“Roman J. Israel, Esq.,” “Django Unchained”), Caleb Eberhardt (“The Post”) and Lil Rel Howery (“Get Out”).
The behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Sean Bobbitt (“12 Years a Slave,” “Widows”), production designer Sam Lisenco (“Shades of Blue”), editor Kristan Sprague (“Random Acts of Flyness”) and costume designer Charlese Antoinette Jones (“Raising Dion”). The music is by Craig Harris and Mark Isham.
Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with MACRO/Participant/BRON Creative, a MACRO Media/Proximity Production, a Film by Shaka King, “Judas and the Black Messiah.” The film is slated for release in theaters nationwide on February 12, 2021. It is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures and has been rated R for violence and pervasive language.
WATCH THE TRAILER
Join Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. and film critic Elvis Mitchell behind the scenes as they dive into the true story behind the events portrayed in the new film Judas and the Black Messiah. Featuring interviews with director, producer and co-writer Shaka King, producer Ryan Coogler, co-stars Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield, and Dominique Fishback, and members of the Black Panther Party who knew Chairman Fred Hampton.
Judas and the Black Messiah is in U.S. theaters on February 12 as well as available on HBO Max for 31 days from theatrical release.
The Judas and the Black Messiah Podcast is a production from Proximity and 99% Invisible, made in partnership with Warner Bros. The podcast is a part of the Radiotopia podcast network from PR.
Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. (left) and producer Charles D. King on the set of “Judas and the Black Messiah.” -Warner Bros
SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL PREMIERE 2021
Due to the restrictions of COVID-19, the Sundance Film Premiere was held remotely. Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. and a small group of people gathered at the Hampton House to view the premiere of Judas and the Black Messiah.
A live Zoom panel discussion with Chairman Fred Hampton Jr.,
Director Shaka King, and the cast followed.