Netflix is setting up The Council for actor Will Smith to star in and produce. The Gemini Man star will lead from a script by Peter Landesman (Concussion, Parkland).
The Council sees Smith leading the never-before told story of a crime syndicate consisting of seven African-American men who ruled Harlem in the 1970s and early 80s. No ordinary crime syndicate – the men dreamed of a self-sufficient and self-policing African American city-state, funded by revolutionizing the drug game.
The movie centers on the Shakespearean court intrigue between The Council’s king, Nicky Barnes, dubbed “Mr. Untouchable” by the New York Times, and all the different members as one unlikely rising protégé emerges. Barnes, whose death was recently made known, was an American crime boss, active in New York City during the 1970s who led an international drug trafficking ring, in partnership with the Italian-American Mafia, until his arrest in 1978.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment, eventually becoming a federal informant.
Smith will produce at Westbrook Inc.’s Overbrook Entertainment with James Lassiter along with Jackson Pictures’ Matt Jackson and Jason Essex for Anonymous Nobodies. Landesman is also exec producing with Jackson Pictures’ Joanne Lee and David Lee for Anonymous Nobodies.