It’s official, Huey P. Newton’s movie entitled The Big Cigar, is now in the making. After being shelved, Sony Pictures producer Matt Tolmach has brought the project back and has attached Little Miss Sunshine’s Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris to direct.
Newton was an African American civil rights activist, best known for co-founding the Black Panther Party For Self Defense in 1966. Despite having numerous confrontations with the law, and even spending a substantial amount of time in prison for murder, he pursued an education and eventually acquiring his Ph.D in social science.
The Big Cigar will not follow his complete life, but rather an article Joshua Bearman wrote for the Playboy Magazine. In that article, it describes a plan which was hatched to use a film production scheme as a cover up to get Newton smuggled out of the U.S. and into Cuba. Newton’s goal was to avoid prosecution for murder and other violent crimes he allegedly committed. The plan worked but after three years, Newton eventually return to the U.S. to stand trial but was shot to death before its conclusion. He died at the age of 47.
Bearman and Jim Hecht will write the script. More details coming soon…