EXCLUSIVE: Power Book III: Raising Kanan star Omar Epps and Stumptown‘s Michael Ealy are teaming for the Lionsgate and Command Films thriller The Devil You Know, Deadline has learned.
Written and directed by Charles Murray, The Devil You Know follows Marcus Cowans (Omar Epps), who after a lifetime of trouble, finally has the chance to turn things around with the love and support of his family. But when Marcus discovers that one of his three brothers (Will Catlett) might be involved in a home invasion, he finds himself not only at odds with his brothers, but also in the crosshairs of a cop (Michael Ealy) who is deeply involved with his last case before he retires. As Marcus tries to do right by his family, he finds himself spiraling back into the dark place his family helped him overcome.
Also starring in the pic are Glynn Turman, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Theo Rossi, BJ Britt, Vaughn Hebron, Erica Tazel, Curtiss Cook, Keisha Epps, and Ashley Williams. Murray and Marc Danon are producing through their Command Films banner, alongside Roy Scott MacFarland, and Jackie J. Stone. Epps and Ealy are EPs.
Lauren Bixby, VP, Co-Productions and Acquisitions for Lionsgate said, “We’ve been wanting to work with Charles for a long time, and with The Devil You Know, he has made a riveting film, punctuated by Omar and Michael’s performances — they give the characters real emotional weight. We’re thrilled to be bringing the movie to audiences everywhere.”
Murray added, “I’ve lived with this idea for many years and seeing it come to life with this stellar cast and driven crew has been nothing short of a dream come true. Loving movies as much as I do, having the opportunity to work with Glynn Turman, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Omar Epps, Michael Ealy, and the rest of the cast has been equally rewarding as a fan and as a creative. I enjoyed every minute of it.”
Epps said, “The Devil You Know is an exploration of family, morality, and brotherhood. It challenges generational and cultural conditioning in an authentic way that leads back to protecting one’s humanity. I’m excited for audiences to experience this film for years to come.”
“The enthusiasm and support from Lionsgate has been phenomenal from the very beginning,” said producer Danon. “Command is focused on identifying partnerships that propel Black creators, and we saw immediate value in partnering with Lionsgate, who is like-minded in their efforts to maximize diverse groups.”
“For me it always starts with what’s on the page,” said Ealy. “I’ve been positioning myself to work behind the camera so when Charles and I were discussing another project, he sent me this script. My connection to this family was immediate and I was intrigued, especially because I didn’t come from a big family. I wanted to be involved and after a few deeper conversations, it was apparent that my interest went beyond being in front of the camera. Thankfully Charles agreed.”
Kaycee Holcomb and Grace Duplissea negotiated the deal alongside Bixby on behalf of Lionsgate.
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