In a time of political turbulence, Sam Rockwell and Taraji P. Henson have boarded the timely and relevant film THE BEST OF ENEMIES from writer-director Robin Bissell in his directorial debut. Danny Strong and Tobey Maguire are producing the flick.
The film, based on the book The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South by Osha Gray Davidson, tells the true life story of Ann Atwater (Henson), a black activist, and Claiborne Paul “C.P.” Ellis (Rockwell), a member of the Ku Klux Klan in 1960s Durham, North Carolina. When they both joined a committee to oversee desegregation in schools, they found they shared common ground in caring about the economic upbringing and quality of education for the city’s children. Much to everyone’s surprise, they ended up becoming the unlikeliest of friends.
Anne Heche, Wes Bentley, Bruce McGill, Nick Searcy, John Gallagher Jr., and Babou Ceesay round out the rest of the cast.
The project hails from Astute Films, with Rick Jackson and Jeremiah Samuels executive producing. The film is expected to start shooting next week in Georgia. Hollywood Reporter first broke the news of the casting.
Rockwell is a versatile and ubiquitous actor, appearing in films like Iron Man 2, The Way Way Back, and Conviction. Next, he’ll be seen in the dark comedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which reteams him with his Seven Psychopaths director Martin McDonagh. He’s repped by Gersh and Untitled Entertainment.
Henson is primarily known for her award-winning role in Fox’s hit series Empire and this year’s Hidden Figures. In 2009 she received an Oscar nomination for her supporting role in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and coming up she’s starring in Screen Gems’ Proud Mary. She’s repped by UTA and Vincent Cirrincione & Associates.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor