His casting in the historical drama follows the news that the long-awaited film is finally moving forward with Paramount Pictures on board for domestic distribution and Cross Creek signing on to finance and co-produce alongside Amblin Partners.
The movie is based on the infamous 1969 trial of seven men charged by the federal government with conspiracy and inciting to riot, a result of the counterculture protests in Chicago at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The trial transfixed the nation and sparked a conversation intended to undermine the U.S. government.
Abdul-Mateen will play Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale, who was one of the original eight that were charged. Seale’s case was eventually severed from the other defendants, leading to the “Chicago Seven” moniker. He was bound and gagged