Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is taking his story to Hollywood. Deadline reports that the lawyer is working with Matthew Carnahan (House of Lies) and Emmy nominee Nadia Hallgren (Becoming) to develop a TV series based on his life. Stokes follows “Crump and his team as they travel the country fighting to change the problems within the justice system.”
Crump has become well-known for his work with Black victims of racial injustice. He has represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and most recently Z’Kye Husain, the New Jersey teenager slammed to the ground and handcuffed by police as the white kid in the fight was left unharmed.
“Working with Ben Crump is a stark rebuttal of the old saying about never meeting your heroes. Three years in, through a documentary and this wonderful scripted series, Stokes, Ben is more my hero than ever, and his work has undoubtedly changed the culture,” Carnahan said in a statement.
Carnahan is the creator/showrunner and worked on the script with Hallgren, who was the cinematographer on Becoming and directed an episode of Black and Missing. Hallgren is making a documentary about Crump for Netflix. Carnahan is executive producing with Kenya Barris and Roger Ross Williams.
“Ben Crump is one of the most nuanced, complex, and interesting characters I’ve ever met,” Hallgren said. “The last two years I’ve spent documenting Ben during this historical time, gave me a front row seat to his singular perspective. Ben brings together the history of America with the present moment in unimaginable ways and I’m thrilled to be working with Matthew Carnahan to share this story through a scripted narrative format.”
Crump is no stranger to Hollywood. Through his company Brooklyn Media he’s executive producing the film Freedom Ride, which is based on first person accounts of actual freedom riders, including the late John Lewis.
This project is in the very early stages of development, so it will be interesting to see what network picks it up and how casting shakes out.