Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is cast to star in the based on a true story film, I Helped Destroy People for Amazon Studios.
Mateen II and Michael B. Jordan via his Outlier Production Company are producing the thriller that adapts Janet Reitman’s 2021 New York Times article of the same name.
The film involves a whistleblower, the FBI, and racial and religious profiling. Ben Watkins, who created the Amazon series Hand of God, is on board to write the script.
The story centers on of Terry Albury (Mateen II), an F.B.I. agent who was tasked with infiltrating Muslim communities post 9/11 as the only Black agent at his bureau. He, however, grew so disillusioned by the war on terror and what he saw as the agency’s violations of its rules on domestic terrorism.
He then, after 16 years and commendations signed by directors Robert Mueller and James Comey, he began leaking classified documents to the press, hoping to expose a system that abused innocents. A morning sting operation apprehended him and he landed a four-year stint in prison, convicted under the Espionage Act.
“There is this mythology surrounding the war on terrorism, and the F.B.I., that has given agents the power to ruin the lives of completely innocent people based solely on what part of the world they came from, or what religion they practice, or the color of their skin. And I did that,” Albury is quoted saying in the article, adding, “I helped destroy people. For 17 years.”
Amazon Studios landed rights to the article following a competitive situation. Jordan and Elizabeth Raposo will produce for Outlier Society, under their company’s deal with Amazon Studios, with Abdul-Mateen II for House Eleven10.
Up next Abdul-Mateen II will star in Michael Bay’s thriller Ambulance. He will also reprise his role as Black Manta in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom..