Movie in the Works About Johnnie Cochran’s Landmark Signal Hill Police Brutality Case

Johnnie Cochran Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images
Johnnie Cochran
Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

The Firm is developing a movie about famed O.J. Simpson lawyer Johnnie Cochran, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

The management company, which is moving increasingly into the film production business, has acquired David McMillan’s script about one of Cochran’s earlier cases involving Ron Settles, a black football player at Cal State Long Beach. After a routine arrest, Settles was found hanging in a jail cell in Signal Hill, Calif. Police said it was self-inflicted. Settles’ family hired the young attorney Cochran, who sued Signal Hill for wrongful death and later settled out of court.

The untitled script follows the rise of the young enterprising lawyer and his decision to take on the landmark case in 1981.

The Firm’s Robbie Brenner (Dallas Buyers Club) is producing along with Kevin McKeon. Jeff Kwatinetz is executive producing.

The project marks The Firm’s third film since Brenner joined the company in September from her previous post at Relativity. The other films are the Jennifer Garner starrer Tribes of Palos Verdes, which begins shooting in Los Angeles this month, and The Paladin.

“Kevin and I are so excited to work on David McMillan’s incredibly well-written, timely script,” Brenner said. “The subject matter resonates now just as powerfully as it did in 1981, and we look forward to making an honest, provocative and challenging film.”

The film’s announcement comes against the backdrop of high-profile stories of police brutality in the news nationwide and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Cochran, who died in 2005, also is a central character on the FX series American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson. Courtney B. Vance plays the quippy lawyer, who became a household name in the 1990s.

McMallin is repped by CAA, Grandview and Jackoway Tyerman.

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter – Tatiana Siegel