Will Smith joins Netflix crime drama ‘The Council’; Based on true events, Smith plays an American crime boss in the drama

Will Smith is ready to star in Netflix’s upcoming crime drama ‘The Council’ as the African American crime boss Nicky Barnes.

‘The Council’ is going to be a thriller drama. It is based on true events that center a crime syndicate comprising of seven African American men who ruled Harlem in the 70s and 80s. The syndicate aimed at establishing a self-policing and self-sufficient African American city which was funded by revolutionizing the drug game. The thriller explores the Shakespearean court intrigue in the council between a rising protege and Nicky Barnes.

The real-life Barnes had partnered with the Italian American Mafia on international drug distribution until Barnes’ arrest in 1978. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and became a federal informant under the witness protection program. Although Barnes died in 2012, his death was not known until this year. He was portrayed by Cuba Gooding, Jr., in Ridley Scott’s 2007 film “American Gangster,” which starred Denzel Washington.

Peter Landesman who had earlier written and directed Smith’s sports drama Concussion in 2015, will be scripting The Council. The production is being managed by Smith and James Lassiter for Westbrook Inc.’s Overbrook Entertainment. These two are accompanied by Jackson Pictures’ Matt Jackson and Jason Essex for Anonymous Nobodies.

Recently Smith starred as the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin and will soon be seen again in Ang Lee’s sci-fi thriller Gemini Man, which Paramount will open this year on 11th of October.