Winston Duke to portray Marcus Garvey in ‘Marked Man’ at Amazon

Jesse Williams and Wanda DeWise are reportedly in talks to join the cast

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It looks like we’ll get to see a lot more of Winston Duke when he stars as Marcus Garvey in the upcoming film, Marked Man.

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According to Deadline, the film, set for Amazon Studios, will be directed by Andrew Dosunmu. Jesse Williams and Wanda DeWise are in talks to join the Black Panther alum in the flick. Dosunmu most recently directed Michelle Pfeiffer in Where is Kyra and is currently working on his next project, Beauty, for Netflix.

 Kwame Kwei-Armah, who is writing Spike Lee‘s upcoming musical about Viagra, wrote the script, initially developed by Esther Douglas, and the film will be based on the Garvey biography, Negro With a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garveyby Colin Grant.

2020 Sundance Film Festival -   Cinema Cafe With Radha Blank And Winston Duke
Winston Duke attends Cinema Cafe With Radha Blank And Winston Duke during the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

Here’s the logline via Deadline:

Set in the 1920s, Marked Man follows a young Black man who joins J. Edgar Hoover’s Federal Bureau of Investigation and then infiltrates Garvey’s UNIA organization, testing his loyalty to both race and country as he grows weary of both men’s actions.

Robert Teitel and Joanne Lee have signed on as executive producers and Mark Gordon and Matt Jackson are producing.

Garvey was a Jamaican political activist and journalist who moved to Harlem, founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL). His ideas came to be known as Garveyism.

Born in 1887, he was a Black nationalist who was a proponent of the Back to Africa Movement and encouraged unity across the African diaspora. His life and work were largely controversial but he is often regarded as a revolutionary and a hero. He faced intense criticism from others like the writer and scholar W.E. B. DuBois, who regarded him as an idealist, and he was often labeled a zealot who spread violent rhetoric.

In 2016, as reported by theGrio, reggae/pop star Sean Paul advocated for a movie about Garvey.

“I think he’s a very important figure,” Paul said. “And I just think that every time Jamaican movies are depicted, it’s a lot about gangsters and that kind of stuff, which is a big part of the culture, but there’s also someone who is a very strong icon in terms of, yeah, Black liberation.”

Marcus Garvey 1924 (LIbrary of Congress, Public Domain)

“He was the first Black man to print anything … the first publisher on this side of the earth,” he said before later adding, “I wish someone would do a real movie about that.”

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“[He’s a] controversial figure. There’s some people in Jamaica who felt like he stole their money. And there’s some people who still, you know, who revere him as you know, like a prophet. So it’s controversial in that respect,” he admitted.

But then he went on, “Just like a movie was made about Malcolm X, then we should try and get one done about our hero.”

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