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Will Smith To Play Harlem Crime Boss Nicky Barnes In Netflix Film

Source: VALERIE MACON / Getty

We already got a film revolving around Frank Lucas portrayed by Denzel Washington in American Gangster, now its Nicky Barnes turn. Collider is reporting that Will Smith will take on the role of the Harlem crime boss in the Netflix film The Council.

The Council will see the actor teaming up with Peter Landesman again who also wrote Concussion which Smith also starred in.

Per Collider:

Concussion filmmaker Peter Landesman wrote the script, which delves into the never-before-told story of a crime syndicate consisting of seven African-American men who ruled Harlem in the 1970s and early ’80s. This was no ordinary crime syndicate, as the men dreamed of a self-sufficient and self-policing African American city-state, funded by revolutionizing the drug game. The movie centers on the Shakespearean court intrigue between The Council’s king, Nicky Barnes, dubbed “Mr. Untouchable” by the New York Times, and all the different members — as one unlikely rising protégé emerges.

The Council won’t be Barnes first time on the big screen. In 2007’s American Gangster he was portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr. and wasn’t too pleased that story revolved around Lucas. Barnes was arrested and sentenced to life in prison without parole. He eventually became a federal informant after he became upset with how his criminal empire was being run while he was behind bars. Barnes was released in 1998 and placed in witness protection. He passed away in 2012, information about his death wasn’t released until this year.

The Council will allow us to see Smith play a role we have yet to see him a portray that he often avoided in his career. James Lassiter, a long-time collaborator, will produce the film for Smith’s Westbrook Inc.’s Overbrook Entertainment tentpole. Matt Jackson of Jackson Pictures and Jason Essex of Anonymous Nobodies will also serve as producers.

Photo: VALERIE MACON / Getty