In the space of only three years, both The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty cemented Mark Boal and filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow‘s place as one of the most exciting creative partnerships in the industry. It’s little wonder, then, that after reaping multiple awards and critical acclaim across each button-pressing war drama, the pair are primed to reteam for an as-yet-untitled crime drama set in the Detroit of the late 1960s.
Taking place during the devastating riots that engulfed the Motor City during the summer of 1967, the feature is set to revolve around the “systemic racism” that plighted urban Detroit more than 40 years ago, an underlying tension that eventually spawned the 12th Street Riot. How exactly Bigelow and Boal plan to weave their story around these true-life events remain to be seen, but it’ll likely document the upheaval as it unfolded, when police raided an unlicensed bar belonging to members of the resistance and sparked five days of public disorder – an event exacerbated by racial enmity.
Soon after the race riots began to cause havoc all across town, Michigan State governor George Romney was left with little choice but to call in the National Guard to end the violent public disorder, bringing an end to a clash that left 43 people dead and 1,189 injured. Beyond that, concrete details such as casting or a release date for Boal and Bigelow’s latest creative venture remain thin on the ground. What we do know is that the latter’s tenth feature film has set up shop at Annapurna Pictures, where Megan Ellison and Matthew Budman will lend a hand in producing.
Coming to the fore in timely fashion what with the all-white list of Oscar nominees, we’re fascinated to see how Boal and Kathryn Bigelow assimilate their storytelling beats weaned from The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty onto domestic soil. It’s still early days, though Annapurna Pictures describes the Untitled Detroit Project as so: “A crime drama set against the backdrop of Detroit’s devastating riots that took place over five haunting summer days in 1967.”