Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Issa Rae's HBO-Bound 'Awkward Black Girl'-esque Comedy Gets a Director Issa Rae's HBO-Bound 'Awkward Black Girl'-esque Comedy Gets a Director The Irresponsibility of 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' The Irresponsibility of 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' Zadie Smith Will Make Her Feature Screenwriting Debut, Teaming up w/ Claire Denis for Sci-Fi Project Zadie Smith Will Make Her Feature Screenwriting Debut, Teaming up w/ Claire Denis for Sci-Fi Project David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Abderrahmane Sissako, Effie Brown and More Invited to the Academy as Diversity Push Continues David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Abderrahmane Sissako, Effie Brown and More Invited to the Academy as Diversity Push Continues Review: Arriving on Netflix TODAY, Definitive Nina Simone Documentary, 'What Happened, Miss Simone' Review: Arriving on Netflix TODAY, Definitive Nina Simone Documentary, 'What Happened, Miss Simone' Haiti and the Dominican Republic - A Conflict Captured on Film Haiti and the Dominican Republic - A Conflict Captured on Film Fried Chicken & Drugs: 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Writer Charla Lauriston Creates the Anti-­Strong Black Woman in 'Clench & Release' Fried Chicken & Drugs: 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Writer Charla Lauriston Creates the Anti-­Strong Black Woman in 'Clench & Release' A Muscle-Bound Michael B. Jordan Hitting a Speed Bag w/ Stallone's Encouragement in Pic from 'Creed' A Muscle-Bound Michael B. Jordan Hitting a Speed Bag w/ Stallone's Encouragement in Pic from 'Creed' Greetings From 'The Walking Dead: Season 6' Set as Daryl Plants an Unexpected Kiss on Michonne Greetings From 'The Walking Dead: Season 6' Set as Daryl Plants an Unexpected Kiss on Michonne Taraji P. Henson Books Lead in 'Hunger Games' Producer's Directorial Debut, ‘The Best Of Enemies’ Taraji P. Henson Books Lead in 'Hunger Games' Producer's Directorial Debut, ‘The Best Of Enemies’ PBS Yanks Ben Affleck 'Finding Your Roots' Episode + Puts Off 3rd & 4th Seasons Until Editorial Standards Improve PBS Yanks Ben Affleck 'Finding Your Roots' Episode + Puts Off 3rd & 4th Seasons Until Editorial Standards Improve Casting News - Teyonah Parris Is Spike Lee's Lysistrata + NWA Biopic Casts its Tupac, Jussie Smollett Heads 'Underground' Casting News - Teyonah Parris Is Spike Lee's Lysistrata + NWA Biopic Casts its Tupac, Jussie Smollett Heads 'Underground' Here's Your First Look At Taye Diggs in the Title Role in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' Here's Your First Look At Taye Diggs in the Title Role in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' Teaser: Marques Houston, Keshia Knight Pulliam and Draya Michele Star in TV One Original Movie, 'Will to Love' Teaser: Marques Houston, Keshia Knight Pulliam and Draya Michele Star in TV One Original Movie, 'Will to Love' Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Team Behind 'Little Miss Sunshine' Tapped To Helm Film Based On Huey Newton's Flight To Cuba

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act December 12, 2012 at 6:27PM

Interesting choices here to write and direct this film.
1
Huey P. Newton

Interesting choices here to write and direct this film.

First, a recap on a project we first alerted you to in early October, which is now definitely moving ahead. 

The short story goes... Easy Rider producer Bert Schneider, was a pal and supporter of the Black Panthers, even reportedly giving them $10,000 way back when, to help with the organization's initiatives.

It's said that Black Panther leader Huey Newton even became quite close to Schneider, some times staying at Schneider's home for weeks at a time, in the early 1970s.

As reports you can find on the web state, in 1974, Newton, on bail for an assault charge, was accused of killing a 17-year-old prostitute. He jumped bail and hid out with Schneider, who eventually would devise a plan to smuggle Newton out of the country, to Cuba, where he could seek political asylum.

The plan was to sail through the Panama Canal to Mexico, where Newton would be picked up, after Schneider smuggled him across the border.

Well, needless to say, everything didn't quite go as planned (Newton did return eventually to face charges, and we know what happened to him eventually). But I'll refer you to a lengthy Salon.com article, titled True Hollywood story: The producer and the Black Panther, which goes into lots of detail about the relationship between Schneider and Newton, and much more. Read it HERE.

If anything, regardless of where your POV lies, it's a fascinating read documenting an interesting period in our history.

Thanks to all the excitement and acclaim over Ben Affleck's Argo (which I liked, but think is over-praised), itself based on a somewhat similar explosive mixture of Hollywood and politics, a film based on the above series of events involving Netwon, was being shopped around in Hollywood when we first wrote about in October; but it's now been picked up by Sony Pictures-based producer Matt Tolmach, who has hired Little Miss Sunshine‘s Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris to direct, with Joshua Bearman (he wrote the Wired Magazine article that inspired Ben Affleck's Argo) and Jim Hecht (Ice Age: The Meltdown) penning the script adaptation.

Like I said, an interesting writer/director team of talents there hired to work on this particular project, given their resumes (Joshua Bearman aside).

According to Deadline, the project is titled The Big Cigarwhich is based on an article in the December issue of Playboy magazine, and it details how Easy Rider producer Bert Schneider conjured up a film to help smuggle Black Panthers co-founder Huey Newton out of the U.S. and into Cuba to avoid being tried for murder and another violent crime.

I assume the December issue of Playboy is out currently... I'm not a subscriber, so I haven't read the article. Anyone have? I couldn't find it online.

But I can hear your arguments already, loud and clear... "Oh great Tambay - another film centered on a black historical figure's struggles, but as a character in what's really a white person's story!

I know, I know... as Deadline notes, the plan is to have the story revolve around Schneider. So, feel free to lower your expectations now.

However, a lot still has to be done - like write the script.

No word on casting yet; but I'm sure the actor hired to play Huey Newton will be black - at least, I think so.


Shadow & ActNewsletter