Will Smith will star in Nicky Barnes biopic The Council at Netflix, the streaming service announced today. Smith is reteaming with his Concussion helmer Peter Landesman, who wrote the script and will direct.
The Council is the never-before told story of a crime syndicate consisting of seven African-American men who ruled Harlem in the 1970s and early ’80s. No ordinary crime syndicate – the men dreamed of a self-sufficient and self-policing African American city-state, funded by revolutionizing the drug game.
The movie centers on the Shakespearean court intrigue between The Council’s king, Nicky Barnes, dubbed “Mr. Untouchable” by the New York Times, and all the different members as one unlikely rising protégé emerges.
Barnes, whose death was recently made known, was an American crime boss, active in New York City during the 1970s who led an international drug trafficking ring, in partnership with the Italian-American Mafia, until his arrest in 1978. Barnes was sentenced to life imprisonment, eventually becoming a federal informant.
The Council will be produced by James Lassiter and Will Smith for Westbrook Inc.’s Overbrook Entertainment, Jackson Pictures’ Matt Jackson and Jason Essex for Anonymous Nobodies. The executive producers are Peter Landesman, Jackson Pictures’ Joanne Lee and David Lee for Anonymous Nobodies.