Anthony Mackie is exchanging Falcon’s suit for a more traditional one, as Deadline reports the Civil War actor will star as late legal legend Johnnie Cochran in a movie about a landmark police-brutality case from the early ’80s. Other talent and logistical details on the Firm-backed project are scarce, but the untitled drama was penned by former Sleepy Hollow and Lucifer scribe David McMillan. It’s based on Cochran’s handling of real events in Signal Hill, California, where Cal State Long Beach football star Ron Settles was found hanged in a prison cell, the morning after his speeding arrest. Settles’s parents hired Cochran, who sued Signal Hill for $62 million, according to the L.A. Times. After an autopsy showed the 21-year-old didn’t commit suicide but had been strangled, Cochran won the family $760,000; the case became “a precursor to a lot of modern civil rights litigation in Southern California,” per a Long Beach Press-Telegram report, and spurred a police-department overhaul in the West Coast city. Settles’s case also further established Cochran as a nationally recognized champion against racial injustice, roughly one decade before he’d take on the notorious O.J. Simpson case.
Mackie. Photo: Anthony Harvey/2014 Getty Images