Deon and Roxanne Avent Taylor’s Hidden Empire Film Group is set to produce and finance “The Daryl Davis Project” alongside Misha Collins, Trish Hofmann, Victoria Vantoch, Philip Schneider and two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank.
The new project tells the true story of Daryl Davis (pictured above), a Black pianist who uses music to forge unlikely friendships with members of the KKK with the mission to turn their hearts away from an allegiance to white supremacy. Davis began his mission to fight racism in the 1980s, and he now proudly owns the hoods and robes of more than 200 former Klansmen who turned them over to him.
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The film will be adapted from Davis’ autobiography, “Klan-destine Relationships: A Black Man’s Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan.” Hofmann and Collins first optioned the story from Davis and the producing team is now actively seeking a writer to pen the film’s script.
“This story couldn’t be timelier and the fact that it’s real makes it even more compelling,” Taylor tells Variety of the project. “Daryl is one of those great examples how one individual can make a massive change in the world no matter who they are, where they come from or their color of skin.”
Hofmann and Collins add: “What we love about the story, is that it’s about a man who combats racism head on by going directly to its most overt perpetuators, and treats them like humans — thereby forcing them to discover that hatred is impossible when there is connection,”
“Finding our commonalities is so important in this day and age,” Swank concludes. “When we find what can unite us, we can help delimit what can divide us. This story is a shining testament to that. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be developing Daryl’s story and we are thrilled to have Deon and his team to shepherd this to the screen.”
Taylor is represented by UTA and Artistry Collective; Collins is represented by UTA and Management 360; Hofmann is represented by WME; and Swank is represented by WME and Management 360.
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