Amazon Studios has locked down the rights to a highly intriguing thriller focused on the FBI’s spying on Black Muslims after 9/11, and Michael B. Jordan and Yahya Abdul Mateen II have signed on to the film.
As first announced by The Hollywood Reporter, Amazon Studios is set to produce I Helped Destroy People, a dramatic movie which is based on an article in the New York Times from last year detailing the story of former FBI agent Terry Arbury. Arbury, the only Black agent at his bureau, was assigned to infiltrate Muslim communities after the events of 9/11. During his sixteen years on assignment, Arbury grew disenchanted after seeing the racial profiling that was part of other violations the agency made during the War On Terror. He made the decision to leak classified documents exposing the bad behavior by the federal government, but was arrested in a sting operation and sentenced to four years in prison. Janet Reitman is the Times reporter who penned the long-form article.
“There is this mythology surrounding the war on terrorism, and the F.B.I., that has given agents the power to ruin the lives of completely innocent people based solely on what part of the world they came from, or what religion they practice, or the color of their skin. And I did that,” Albury says in the article, continuing: “I helped destroy people. For 17 years.”
The film is being produced by the streaming giant in conjunction with Jordan, his Outlier Society partner Elizabeth Raposo and by Abdul-Mateen’s House Eleven10 production company, which is focused on showcasing talent from under-represented communities. Ben Watkins, who is responsible for creating Amazon’s Hand of God series starring Ron Perlman, will be tasked with writing the script. Currently, Jordan is hard at work serving as the director and starring in Creed III and Abdul-Mateen II can be seen in the upcoming action drama Ambulance with co-star Jake Gyllenhaal, which will make its debut in theaters April 8th.