When news first hit of Daniel Kaluuya being selected for the role of slain 60s revolutionary Fred Hampton, many raised eyebrows about whether the British actor could capture the nuances of such an revered (and American) Black Power icon. Doubts will likely persist through next year, but today’s fiery trailer for Judas and the Black Messiah will certainly bring more supporters to Kaluuya’s side.
Writer and director Shaka King focuses on the infiltration of Hampton’s Black Panther Party chapter via William O’ Neal (Lakeith Stanfield), who turns into an FBI informant to avoid prison time. O’Neal’s conflicting emotions is a major plot point as we see him become a trusted aide to Hampton while participating in shootouts and seeing his treachery place Hampton closer to danger from the FBI and Chicago police.
Judas and the Black Messiah will be released in early 2021 and also stars Jesse Plemons, Dominique Fishback, Ashton Sanders and Martin Sheen.