*Nate Parker’s drama “American Skin,” has been acquired by Vertical Entertainment and is set for release next year in the U.S. on Martin Luther King Jr. day.
Parker (The Birth Of A Nation), Omari Hardwick (Kick-Ass), Theo Rossi (Luke Cage), Beau Knapp (Seven Seconds) star in the film which has Spike Lee attached as an executive producer.
As reported by Deadline, “the film charts how after witnessing his 14 year-old son’s murder by a white police officer who goes uncharged, Marine veteran Lincoln ‘Linc’ Jefferson takes matters into his own hands in a series of events he hopes will finally lead to justice for his son,” the outlet writes.
Parker told the publication: “In 2014, following the death of Michael Brown, I traveled to Ferguson, Missouri to stand against the overt domestic terrorism I saw spreading like a virus throughout our country. My hope was both to amplify calls for justice, while seeking a better understanding of the tensions between law enforcement and men and women of color. The most tragic moment of this trip arrived when I stood downtown between two infuriated groups of citizens. From one side came yells of ‘Justice for Mike Brown’ and on the other ‘Support Our Police’. It became even more clear to me, the disconnect in our collective understanding of citizenship, law enforcement, and our responsibility to preserve American Black lives. This trip and subsequent killings developed in me a fire that manifested itself into the makings of this film American Skin.”
He continued: “As an American citizen, father, brother, son and artist, I felt compelled to use my platform as a filmmaker to respond to this crisis in a way that could not only promote social equity, but initiate a global culture shift that can result in the preservation of lives. If saving one life is the only thing this film achieves, it will have served its core purpose.”
Meanwhile, actor David Oyelowo said in a new interview that Parker ‘deserves a second chance’ after an old rape case halted his career during the release of “The Birth of a Nation” in 2016.
Parker and his longtime friend, screenwriter Jean McGianni Celestin, were accused of raping a female student in 1999 while attending Penn State University. Parker was acquitted while Celestin’s conviction was overturned on appeal. The victim would later commit suicide.
Parker “handled it incredibly badly, in my opinion,” Oyelowo said of Nate’s reaction when his decades-old rape case resurfaced.
Oyelowo, who’s set to star in two upcoming movies directed by Parker, spoke to Insider about why he decided to work with the director following the scandal.
“I truly believe that Nate’s acquittal was right. I don’t think he did what I think he was accused of,” Oyelowo said. “But I think his handling of when all of that came out during ‘Birth of a Nation’ felt very insensitive to survivors of sexual assault and that was his big mistake.”
He added, “The Nate Parker that people are going to be encountering going forward is a very different person than the indignant person who was evident initially,” Oyelowo continued. “I truly believe that Nate’s acquittal was right. I don’t think he did what I think he was accused of. But I think his handling of when all of that came out during ‘Birth of a Nation’ felt very insensitive to survivors of sexual assault and that was his big mistake.”