‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ Full Cast List: Meet Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield and other actors in Fred Hampton biopic
Shaka King explores a Biblical betrayal in the stunning new political thriller and he has a very strong cast in hand
“The whole problem is the Blacks,” Richard Nixon once allegedly told his chief of staff HR Haldeman. “The key is to devise a system that recognizes that while not appearing to.”
Political thriller ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’, directed by Shaka King, explores a Biblical betrayal on these lines. The film will bring life to one of the Black Panther Movement’s greatest tragedies, the assassination of the chairman of its Illinois chapter Fred Hampton, whose death became the first truly high-profile case of police brutality in American history.
FULL CAST LIST
Meet the cast of the biographical drama set to stream on HBO Max.
Daniel Kaluuya as Fred Hampton
Kaluuya is an English actor and writer, best known for ‘Get Out’ (2017) and ‘Black Panther’ (2018). He also starred in the Black Mirror episode ‘Fifteen Million Merits’. Born in London to Ugandan parents, Kaluuya began with improvisational theater before subsequently appearing in the first two seasons of the British television series ‘Skins’, in which he co-wrote some of the episodes. In 2017, he starred in Jordan Peele’s horror film ‘Get Out’ which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor.
Kaluuya is set to produce a feature film based on the children's television show ‘Barney & Friends’ via his newly formed production company 59%, alongside Mattel Films, and promises the film will "surprise audiences and subvert expectations."
LaKeith Stanfield as William O'Neal
Stanfield is an American actor and rapper who made his feature film debut in the independent drama ‘Short Term 12’ (2013). He has played leading and supporting roles in films like ‘Dope’ (2015), ‘Get Out’ (2017), ‘Sorry to Bother You’ (2018), ‘Uncut Gems ‘(2019), ‘Knives Out’ (2019) and ‘The Photograph’ (2020).
“As an actor, I wanted to do work that was meaningful,” says Stanfield, in a Merced Sun-Star report, adding that he was surprised when the director offered him the role of William O’Neal (and not Fred Hampton), who was the FBI informant inside Black Panther. “I just didn’t think I would ever want or be able to play him… But after reading it a couple of times and thinking about it more deeply, I thought it could be a unique opportunity to approach this story in a unique way in terms of a biography. Also, that it could be challenging for me to go against my own code of ethics and morals and to try and take on this character," the report quoted him as saying.
Stanfield was born in San Bernardino, California. A Fast Company report quotes him to be saying that he “grew up very poor in a fractured family that was dysfunctional on both sides”. He has gained recognition for his roles such as Jimmie Lee Jackson in ‘Selma’ (2014), Snoop Dogg in ‘Straight Outta Compton’ (2015), and Patrick Haynes in ‘Snowden’ (2016).
Jesse Plemons as Roy Mitchell
Plemons is an American actor, known for ‘The Irishman’ (2019), ‘Game Night’ (2018) and ‘Battleship’ (2012). He began his career as a child actor, having his career breakthrough playing Landry Clarke in the NBC drama series ‘Friday Night Lights’ (2006–2011). He played Todd Alquist in the AMC crime drama series ‘Breaking Bad’, starred in ‘Fargo’, and appeared in the Black Mirror episode ‘USS Callister’.
Plemons is engaged to actor Kirsten Dunst. They have a son, Ennis Howard Plemons, who was born in 2018.
Dominique Fishback as Deborah Johnson
Fishback is an American actress and playwright best known for playing Billie Rowan on ‘Show Me a Hero’, Darlene on ‘The Deuce’ and Robin Reilly in ‘Project Power’. She graduated from Pace University in 2013 with a BA in Theater. Her first major recurring role was in the Yonkers housing drama ‘Show Me a Hero’ where she played the role of a single mother. Her first film ‘Night Comes On’ premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.
Martin Sheen as J Edgar Hoover
Multiple Emmy- and Golden Globe-winner Martin Sheen is known for his roles in the films ‘Badlands’ (1973), 'Apocalypse Now' (1979), ‘Wall Street’ (1987), ‘Gandhi’ (1982), ‘Catch me If You Can’ (2002) and ‘The Departed’ (2006). He played the leading role in 'Apocalypse Now' (1979), also starring Marlon Brando, Dennis Hopper and Robert Duvall. He played US President Josiah Bartlet in the television series 'The West Wing' (1999–2006), and as Robert Hanson in the Netflix series 'Grace and Frankie' (2015–present).
Sheen is married to actress and producer Janet Templeton. The couple has three sons and a daughter, Emilio, Ramón, Carlos, and Renée, all of whom are actors. Carlos decided to change his name and is popularly known as Charlie Sheen.
Ashton Sanders as Jimmy Palmer
Sanders is an American actor and producer from Carson, California, best known for his portrayal of teenage Chiron in the Academy Award-winning film ‘Moonlight’ (2016). He has also acted in ‘The Retrieval’ (2013), ‘The Equalizer 2’ (2018) and ‘Captive State’ (2019). He starred with ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ co-actor LaKeith Stanfield in ‘Straight Outta Compton’.
Lil Rey Howery as Wayne
Comedian, actor, writer, and producer Lil Rel Howery's role as TSA agent Rod Williams in the Oscar-winning instant classic 'Get Out' (2017) ushered him into superstar status. He starred as Robert Carmichael in the NBC comedy series 'The Carmichael Show'. He also starred in the TV series 'Rel', which he also created and co-produced.
YOU CAN MURDER A FREEDOM FIGHTER BUT YOU CANT MURDER FREEDOM!! ✊🏾✊🏾 I AM BEYOND BLESSED TO BE APART OF THIS! THIS IS FOR US!! MY LIFE WAS FOREVER CHANGED SHOOTING THIS W/ MY BROTHERS & SISTERS!! ITS UP NOW!! ALL THE WAY UP! #JudasAndTheBlackMessiah pic.twitter.com/DB2nQbDL0k— Algee Smith (@itsAlgee) August 7, 2020
Who are the other actors?
Algee Smith, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Dominique Thorne, Amari Cheatom, Khris Davis, Ian Duff, Caleb Eberhardt, Robert Longstreet, Amber Chardae Robinson, Ikechukwu Ufomadu, James Udom, Nick Fink, Mell Bowser, Nicholas Velez, Alysia Joy Powell and Aj Carr are some of the other actors starring in the Shaka King film.
‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ is directed by Shaka King. The director and writer is known for his stoner comedy ‘Newlyweeds’ (2013), which marked him as a rising talent on the indie film circuit. He also directed ‘Mulignans’ (2015) and explored racial satire in the short film ‘LaZercism’ (2017). King will be joined by Will Berson in writing the screenplay. The story is by Keith and Kenneth Lucas.
‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ had its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival on February 1, 2021 at both virtual and in-person screenings. The biographical drama is scheduled to be released on February 12, 2021, in the United States, by Warner Bros.
Where to stream?
The film is set to release in theaters. It will stream exclusively on February 12, on HBO Max. Subscribers can stream at no extra cost. Monthly subscriptions cost $14.99 monthly. The film will be available on HBO Max for 31 days from its theatrical release, so make sure you catch it while you can!