Danny Glover, Mekhi Phifer
, Rene Rosado
and Gina Rodriguez
have all signed up to star in director Francisco Ordonez's
directorial debut, titled Asher
The psychological thriller, which is being shopped at the American Film Market this week, is being billed as "Da Vinci Code meets Donnie Brasco," with a story that will see a New York college student (Rosado) infiltrate the Black Israelites, as part of research for a thesis paper.
Glover will play the powerful leader of the Black Israelites sect, while Phifer will play a dissenting member of the group, who befriends Rene Rosado's college student character, and who just might be planning a terrorist attack.
The story is said to be based on director Ordonez's own personal experiences studying real-life Black Israelites as a student at Queens College.
From all I've read and heard about this project, it doesn't sound like a depiction of the group that real Black Israelites will appreciate - essentially being painted as a militant cult.
If you're not familiar, in short, Black Israelites are people of African ancestry who believe that, not only are they the descendants of the ancient Israelites, but they are also God's one chosen people.
New Yorkers will be very familiar with the Israelites, where they are known for their fiery street sermons.
Erika Olmos of Olmos Kontakto Entertainment is producing the film, with Mario Burnias of LIFTT executive producing.
No ETA yet; although I expect this is film that will generate a lot of conversation.
It's a project that's been in the works for a couple of years, with Glover attached all along. The additions of Mekhi Phifer, Rene Rosado and Gina Rodriguez are new.
When I know more, so will you.