Morgan Freeman has signed on to play former Secretary of State Colin Powell in a new biopic entitled Powell, which is being set up at Hyde Park Entertainment. Reginald Hudlin, who directed Marshall, the Thurgood Marshall biopic that hit theaters last weekend, is attached to direct, from a script by Ed Whitworth, which landed on the coveted Black List back in 2011. No production schedule has been given thus far, but with a major star like Morgan Freeman on board, it’s possible that this could move forward very quickly.
The script follows Colin Powell when he was Secretary of State for President George W. Bush, following his service as a decorated U.S. Army General. He was the first ever African-American Secretary of State in U.S. history. He initially did not approve of the President’s plan to invade Iraq, since he didn’t believe that they possessed weapons of mass destruction. He gave in and presented his now-infamous case to the United Nations Security Council in favor of invading Iraq, although the evidence was later discredited by the U.N., with Powell later describing that as the lowest point of his career.
The script will follow the lead-up to his presentation to the Security Council. While it seems likely that this project will have to cast actors to play George W. Bush, vice president Dick Cheney and other key political figures, many of those real-life people are being portrayed by a completely different set of actors for director Adam McKay’s untitled Dick Cheney biopic, which is currently in production. Christian Bale has been set to play Dick Cheney, with Sam Rockwell playing George W. Bush, Amy Adams playing his wife Lynne Cheney, Steve Carell playing Donald Rumsfeld, Lisa Gay Hamilton playing Condoleezza Rice and Tyler Perry playing Colin Powell.
Hyde Park Entertainment’s Ashok Amritraj is producing alongside Lori McCreary, Morgan Freeman’s longtime producing partner at Revelations Entertainment. Morgan Freeman will also serve as executive producer alongside Revelation’s Kelly Mendelsohn, with Hyde Park’s Priya Amritraj and Addison Mehr also serving as executive producers. The production company hasn’t set a release date for this biopic at this time, but that could be set in the near future, if the cast comes together quickly.
Reginald Hudlin started his career as a director, with movies like House Party, Boomerang, The Great White Hype, The Ladies Man and Serving Sara. While he continued to have a prolific career directing numerous TV episodes, he also became well-known as a producer, with the hit TV series The Boondocks and the 2012 Quentin Tarantino revenge thriller Django Unchained. He is also in pre-production on Shadowman. Morgan Freeman most recently starred in Going in Style and Ben-Hur. The Hollywood Reporter doesn’t have any further details on this project quite yet, but that may change soon.