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Will Smith to star in crime biopic The Council for Netflix

Will Smith in I Am Legend

Story by Jack Foley

WILL Smith is to star in new crime biopic The Council for Netflix.

The project will see him reuniting with writer-director Peter Landesman, with whom he worked on the 2015 drama Concussion.

The Council aims to tell the true story of an organized crime syndicate that was run by seven black mobsters who operated in Harlem in the 1970s.

The men dreamed of a self-sufficient and self-policing African American city-state, funded by revolutionizing the drug game.

Netflix states that the story will focus 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 of the Council.

Smith will play Barnes, the man who partnered with the Italian Mafia to start his own syndicate. He would specialise in the heroin trade.

Barnes was eventually arrested in 1978 and, after a series of incidents, turned on the Council by becoming a federal informant.

He subsequently entered the witness protection programme and died in 2012. But his death was only reported in 2019.

Landesman has penned the screenplay but, as yet, has no plans to direct – although a director has yet to be attached.

Smith will shortly be seen on the big screen in sci-fi thriller Gemini Man for Ang Lee, and was also a part of one of this year’s biggest box office hits, Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin, which is now a member of the $1 billion earners club.