LOS ANGELES: Hollywood star Will Smith will soon be seen essaying the role of crime boss Nicky Barnes in "The Council".
Peter Landesman, who wrote and directed Smith's 2015 sports drama "Concussion", is on board to pen the script.
Smith is also producing the project with James Lassiter for Westbrook Inc.'s Overbrook Entertainment along with Jackson Pictures' Matt Jackson and Jason Essex for Anonymous Nobodies, reports variety.com.
The Netflix thriller revolves around a crime syndicate consisting of seven African-American men who ruled Harlem in the 1970s and early 1980s with the goal of establishing a self-sufficient and self-policing African American city-state, funded by revolutionising the drug game. It explores the relationship between Barnes and a rising protege.
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The real-life Barnes partnered with the Italian-American mafia on international drug distribution until his arrest in 1978. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and became a federal informant under the witness protection programme. Barnes died in 2012 but his death did not become known until this year.
He was portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr. in Ridley Scott's "American Gangster".