Kathryn Bigelow Detroit Riots Movie Announced

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt Locker, Point Break) has signed on to direct a currently untitled true crime drama set against the backdrop of Detroit's 1967 riots for Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures.  Hit the jump to learn more about the Kathryn Bigelow Detroit riots movie.

The film, which is being referred to at the moment as the "Untitled Detroit Project," is set to begin principal photography this summer with a release date targeted for 2017 (the 50th anniversary of the riots). No story details have been revealed at this time, but the press release reveals that the story is "a crime drama set against the backdrop of Detroit's devastating riots that took place over five haunting summer days in 1967." The project will explore systemic racism in urban Detroit.

Kathryn Bigelow Detroit riots movie

Here is some more information about the 12th Street riot from Wikipedia:

The precipitating event was a police raid of an unlicensed, after-hours bar then known as a blind pig, on the corner of 12th (today Rosa Parks Boulevard) and Clairmount streets on the city's Near West Side. Police confrontations with patrons and observers on the street evolved into one of the deadliest and most destructive riots in the history of the United States, lasting five days and surpassing the violence and property destruction of Detroit's 1943 race riot. To help end the disturbance, Governor George W. Romney ordered the Michigan Army National Guard into Detroit, and President Lyndon B. Johnson sent in both the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. The result was 43 dead, 1,189 injured, over 7,200 arrests, and more than 2,000 buildings destroyed. The scale of the riot was surpassed in the United States only by the 1863 New York City draft riots during the U.S. Civil War, and the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

The film will be written by Bigelow's Oscar-winning collaborator on Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. Mark Boal has been researching and working on the project for more than a year. Sounds like Bigelow is headed for another possible Oscar contender. Read the full press release below.


LOS ANGELES, CA, JANUARY 28, 2016–Kathryn Bigelow will direct, as well as produce with Mark Boal and Annapurna's Megan Ellison and Matthew Budman an as yet untitled true crime drama from an original screenplay by Mark Boal.

The feature, Oscar winning director Bigelow's tenth as a director, is her, and her frequent collaborator Boal's next up. Referred to at the moment as the "Untitled Detroit Project," it is being financed by Annapurna Pictures, and is set to begin principal photography this summer.

Although details about the Detroit project are not being revealed at this time, it is a crime drama set against the backdrop of Detroit's devastating riots that took place over five haunting summer days in 1967. Boal has been researching and working on the project, which explores systemic racism in urban Detroit, for more than a year. Although no studio is yet attached, a release date is being targeted for 2017, the 50th anniversary of the riots.

The project marks Boal's first screenplay centering around domestic conflicts. His "The Hurt Locker" and "Zero Dark Thirty," both directed by Bigelow, were set in the Middle East.

Bigelow is a two time Oscar winner for producing and directing "The Hurt Locker." Boal is a two time Oscar winner for producing and writing "The Hurt Locker." Bigelow, Boal and Ellison's previous collaboration, "Zero Dark Thirty," received five Oscar nominations including best picture and best screenplay.


Annapurna Pictures is a film production and finance company founded by Megan Ellison that focuses on creating sophisticated, high-quality content which sets itself apart. Ellison successfully upholds the company's vision to produce critically and commercially conscious projects which appeal to a diverse audience, allowing filmmakers and artists to create story content of all genres and mediums while preserving their authenticity. Annapurna's most recent project, David O. Russell's JOY, was released through 20th Century Fox and earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination for star Jennifer Lawrence. Additionally, Annapurna is releasing Todd Solondz's WIENER-DOG, which was recently sold to Amazon Studios for a theatrical release after premiering at this year's Sundance Film Festival, and Richard Linklater's EVERYBODY WANTS SOME, which will be released in April through Paramount Pictures, after premiering at SXSW in Austin. Annapurna is currently in post-production on Ana Lily Amirpour's THE BAD BATCH; Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon's animated SAUSAGE PARTY written by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir; and Mike Mills' 20TH CENTURY WOMEN. Annapurna is also currently in pre-production for the film adaptation of Maria Semple's WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE, to be directed by Richard Linklater. Annapurna's projects since 2012 have earned thirty-one Academy Award nominations, and Ellison is one of only four honorees ever to receive two Best Picture nominations in the same year. Those projects include Kathryn Bigelow's ZERO DARK THIRTY, Bennett Miller's FOXCATCHER, David O. Russell's AMERICAN HUSTLE, Spike Jonze's HER, Wong Kar Wai's THE GRANDMASTER, and Paul Thomas Anderson's THE MASTER. Additionally, Annapurna is partners with Mark Boal on the company Page One, where they produce season two of the hit podcast SERIAL. Bigelow also directed and partnered with Annapurna on the animated short LAST DAYS, about illegal elephant poaching and the ivory trade.