EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studios has set Winston Duke (Black Panther) to star as Marcus Garvey in Marked Man. Garvey was a political activist who was a key figure of Black nationalism in the 20th century. Andrew Dosunmu will direct the drama, and Jesse Williams (Little Fires Everywhere) and DeWanda Wise (She’s Gotta Have It) are in talks to star.
The film is partly inspired by the Colin Grant biography Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey. The script is by acclaimed playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah, which Esther Douglas developed with the support of the BFI Film Fund.
Mark Gordon (Ray Donovan) of Mark Gordon Pictures is producing with Jackson Pictures’ Matt Jackson (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Glendon Palmer and Douglas. Robert Teitel, Kwei-Armah and Jackson Pictures’ Joanne Lee will be executive producers, along with Kwei-Armah.
Set in the 1920s, Marked Man follows a young black man who joins J. Edgar Hoover’s Federal Bureau of Investigation and then infiltrates Garvey’s UNIA organization, testing his loyalty to both race and country as he grows weary of both men’s actions.
After directing videos for the likes of Isaac Hayes, Common, Tracy Chapman and Wyclef Jean, Dosunmu made his feature directing debut with Restless City and most recently helmed the Michelle Pfeiffer-Kiefer Sutherland drama Where Is Kyra? He next directs Beauty for Netflix Original Films and producer Lena Waithe.
Among Kwei-Armah’s works as a playwright are Elmina’s Kitchen, Let There Be Love, A Bitter Herb, Statement of Regret, Marley and Seize the Day. He most recently wrote the script for Spike Lee’s upcoming musical film on the breakthrough of Pfizer’s little blue pill, Viagra. Jackson Pictures is producing.
All of the talent and filmakers are repped by CAA. Dosunmu is also repped by Andre Des Rochers; Williams by Management 360 and Des Rochers; Wise by ColorCreative and attorney Nina Shaw; Kwei-Amah by Redfine Entertainment, United Agents and attorney Linda Lichter; and Jackson Pictures by attorney Neil Sacker.