‘Helmed by Shaka King, ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ is a biographical drama that is based on a screenplay by King and Will Berson, developed from a story by King, Berson, and The Lucas Brothers – Kenny and Keith Lucas. It revolves around the betrayal of Fred Hampton, the chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. It has been lauded by critics and achieved nominations at the Critics Choice Awards, Golden Globes, and SAG Awards, among others. Owing to the supremely talented cast and popularity, you must be curious to know more about this biopic. Well, we have got you covered.
Judas and the Black Messiah Release Date
‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ is slated for release on February 12, 2021, on HBO Max, at 3 am ET, and simultaneously in theatres in the US. Following its release, it will be available on HBO Max for a month.
Judas and the Black Messiah Cast: Who is in it?
‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ boasts of a star-studded cast led by Daniel Kaluuya playing Fred Hampton, chairman of the Black Panther Party chapter in Chicago. Lakeith Stanfield plays William O’Neal, the Judas, in the scenario in the form of an FBI informant who infiltrates the party.
Other notable cast members include Jesse Plemons as Roy Mitchell, O’Neal’s FBI handler, Dominique Fishback as Deborah Johnson, Hampton’s girlfriend, Ashton Sanders as Jimmy Palmer, a Black Panther member, Martin Sheen as J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, and Darrell Britt-Gibson as Bobby Rush, co-founder of the Black Panther Party branch in Chicago.
Judas and the Black Messiah Plot: What is it About?
The story of ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ is set in the late 1960s Chicago, where Hampton and Rush have founded the Illinois Black Panther Party. Fred Hampton possesses the unique ability to bind together enemies and friends in unison, making him a threat to the racist policies in place. On the other hand, William O’Neal is just another petty criminal who is appointed as an FBI informant. He regularly informs his handler, Roy Mitchell, on the activities of Hampton and the Black Panther Party.
The film revolves around Hampton’s central mission of bringing people of all races together to join forces against the common enemy by forming a “rainbow coalition.” However, the path is not that easy, especially under circumstances where racism is a prevalent issue, and people are willing to betray their own race. With jail time looming over his head, the Judas of the narrative, O’Neal is forced to assist the FBI in taking down the chairman of the Black Panthers, who the American authorities deem to be their top opponent.
In reality, Fred Hampton did get assassinated on December 4, 1969, and O’Neal played a crucial role in providing the exact details of Hampton’s apartment’s setting. Kaluuya has already been commended highly for his portrayal of Fred Hampton through riveting dialogue delivery and passionate speeches. Watch the trailer of the film right here!