‘Judas And The Black Messiah’ Trailer Reveals Daniel Kaluuya As Betrayed Black Panther Party Leader Fred Hampton

The Black Panther Party is a shell of what they used to be (Although some would like to scare you into thinking otherwise) back in the 1960s. Then they were a real force in the fight for equal rights, even though their violent tactics ran them afoul of more peaceful civil rights leaders. But another part of the group’s legacy is aiding the community, quelling gang violence, and more, much of those plans instituted by Fred Hampton, the charismatic lead of the Chicago chapter. The story of his rise and fall at the hands of a betrayer is told in Judas and the Black Messiah, a film you may recall from a different title.

Originally announced as Jesus Was My Homeboy, this is that other Black Panther movie from Ryan Coogler, who is aboard as a producer. The film stars Daniel Kaluuya as Fred Hampton, a leader in the Chicago branch of the Black Panther Party and founder of the Rainbow Coalition. He was instrumental in helping to unite the many street gangs and turning them towards community activism. Unfortunately, that also put him on the FBI’s radar, setting in motion a plot that would lead to Hampton’s early demise in a hail of bullets.

Kaluuya reunites with his Get Out co-star Lakeith Stanfield, who plays Hampton’s friend and betrayer, William O’Neal. The cast also includes Jesse Plemons, Dominique Fishback, Martin Sheen, Ashton Sanders, Algee Smith, Lil Rel Howery, and Jermaine Fowler.

Behind the camera is Newlyweeds director Shaka King, having also co-written the script with Will Berson and The Lucas Brothers (22 Jump Street).  Cinematography is by 12 Years a Slave and Widows DP Sean Bobbitt.

Judas and the Black Messiah opens next year.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.