*As FX’s “American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson,” continues to draw ratings and renewed attention on the O.J. Simpson case, news has surfaced about a film on the former NFL star’s famed attorney Johnnie Cochran.
According to Jet, the film, TV and talent management company The Firm has acquired the rights to an untitled script centering on Cochran’s earlier years. Penned by David McMillan, the script revolves around a case Cochran handled that involved the death of Ron Settles, a black California State University Long Beach football player.
At the heart of the case was an incident that took place in June 1981. Settles was pulled over by a white police officer for speeding. The pair ended up getting into a scuffle. Settles was later found brutally beaten and hanging from his jail cell the morning after his arrest. The athlete was 21.
Settles’ death instantly triggered a public outcry that impacted the city as police claimed his death was the result of a suicide.
Public outcry sent shock waves throughout Signal Hill, the city where the incident took place, as police stood by its claims of the death being a suicide. No one connected with the case was prosecuted for Settles’ death. Cochran represented the family in the case, which resulted in them receiving a large settlement from the city.
“The subject matter resonates now just as powerfully as it did in 1981,” Robbie Brenner, a producer on the untitled Cochran film said in a statement. “We look forward to making an honest, provocative and challenging film.”
In addition to Brenner, Kevin McKeon is on board as a producer while Jeff Kwatinetz serves as the film’s executive producer. As it stands right now, there is no word on who will direct the Cochran movie.