Judas and the Black Messiah
Teaser poster
Directed byShaka King
Screenplay by
  • Will Berson
  • Shaka King
Story by
Produced by
CinematographySean Bobbitt
Edited byKristan Sprague
Music byMark Isham, Craig Harris
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • February 12, 2021 (2021-02-12)
CountryUnited States

Judas and the Black Messiah is an upcoming American biographical drama film based on the life of Fred Hampton, chairman of the Black Panther Party in late 1960s Illinois. Directed and produced by Shaka King, the film was written by King and Will Berson, based on a story by King, Berson, and Kenny and Keith Lucas. The film stars Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield.

Judas and the Black Messiah is scheduled to be released in the United States on February 12, 2021, simultaneously in theatres and on HBO Max for a month.


In the late 1960s, petty criminal William O'Neal agrees to work as an informant for the FBI in order to take down Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton.[1]



In February 2019, it was announced Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield had joined the cast of the film, with Shaka King directing from an original story by the Lucas Bros and a screenplay he wrote alongside Will Berson. Ryan Coogler will serve as a producer on the film, with Warner Bros. Pictures distributing.[2] In September 2019, Jesse Plemons, Dominique Fishback and Ashton Sanders joined the cast of the film.[3][4] In October 2019, Algee Smith joined the cast of the film.[5]

Principal photography began in Cleveland, Ohio on October 21, 2019.[6] On November 25 and 26, 2019, filming took place at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield.[7] Production concluded on December 19, 2019.[8]

Originally announced as Jesus Was My Homeboy,[2] the film was later reported as being titled Judas and the Black Messiah[6] before being described as untitled.[5][7] In July 2020, the film's title was confirmed to be Judas and the Black Messiah.[9]

The film's score is being composed by Mark Isham[10] and Craig Harris.[11]


Judas and the Black Messiah is scheduled to be released on February 12, 2021, in the United States, by Warner Bros. Pictures.[12] The film was originally scheduled to be released on August 21, 2020,[13] but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was postponed to 2021.[14][1] As part of its plans for all of its 2021 films, Warner Bros. Pictures will also stream the film simultaneously on the HBO Max service for a period of one month, after which the film will be removed until the normal home media release schedule period.[15]


  1. ^ a b Cordero, Rosy (August 6, 2020). "See Daniel Kaluuya as Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah trailer". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Wiseman, Andreas (February 19, 2019). "Ryan Coogler & MACRO Set Black Panthers Pic With Warner Bros; Daniel Kaluuya & Lakeith Stanfield In Talks To Star". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  3. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (September 19, 2019). "Jesse Plemons & 'The Deuce' Actress Dominique Fishback Join Daniel Kaluuya & Lakeith Stanfield In WB's Black Panthers Pic 'Jesus Was My Homeboy'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  4. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (September 25, 2019). "'Moonlight' & 'Wu-Tang: An American Saga' Star Ashton Sanders In Talks To Join 'Jesus Was My Homeboy' With Daniel Kaluuya & Lakeith Stanfield". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Kit, Borys (October 28, 2019). "'Euphoria' Actor Algee Smith Joins Daniel Kaluuya in Drama About Black Panther Activist (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Stiver, Misty (September 30, 2019). "'Get Out' actors to film Black Panther Party biopic in Cleveland, movie extras needed". Cleveland19.com. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Tuggle, Zach (November 26, 2019). "Movie on NAACP martyr Fred Hampton filming in Mansfield". Mansfield News Journal. Gannett. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  8. ^ D. King, Charles (December 19, 2019). "42 days and it's a wrap! After 3 months in production, 2 years in development and just over 50 years after the assassination of Chairman Fred Hampton, my heart is full of gratitude, respect and love. It was a needle-moving, eye-opening and completely step-outside-of-the-comfort-zone experience. To this incredible team of artists, filmmakers, partners and crewmembers, it was an honor to work alongside you to tell the important story of this extraordinary man. Stay tuned". Instagram. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
  9. ^ "Ryan Coogler's Fred Hampton Biopic Has a New Name: 'Judas and the Black Messiah'". Relevant. July 30, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  10. ^ Zemler, Emily (August 30, 2020). "Mark Isham Raced Against COVID-19 to Remotely Score 'Bill & Ted 3'". Observer. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  11. ^ Davis, Clayton (7 January 2021). "Oscars Predictions: Best Original Score – James Newton Howard Guns for His First Oscar for 'News of the World'". Variety. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  12. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 22, 2020). "'Judas And The Black Messiah' Sets Release For 2021 Awards Season". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  13. ^ Hipes, Patrick (December 11, 2019). "Warner Bros Sets Release Dates For 'The Matrix' Sequel, 'The Flash' & More; 'Akira' Off Schedule". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
  14. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 20, 2020). "'The Batman' Flies To Fall 2021, 'Sopranos' Prequel Moves To March & More As Warner Bros. Makes Release Date Changes Due To COVID-19 Climate". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 20, 2020. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  15. ^ Rubin, Rebecca; Donnelly, Matt (December 3, 2020). "Warner Bros. to Debut Entire 2021 Film Slate, Including 'Dune' and 'Matrix 4,' Both on HBO Max and In Theaters". Variety. Retrieved December 3, 2020.