It wasn’t war, but the 1967 Detroit riot sometimes looked liked one. The Army, National Guard, and even tanks were sent to quell the violence, and it remains one of the largest riots in U.S. history. As unsettling as images from the event has always been, the current wave of mass protests and overt racial tension makes them especially inflammatory, so it’s no surprise that Detroit, which is based on the riot, has drawn some knee-jerk reactions.
Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal have a habit of taking on sensitive current events in films like Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker, and while Detroit is schedule to come out within days of the riot’s 50th anniversary, they’ve keyed in on a specific incident at the Algiers Motel that is especially resonant.
Given the filmmakers’ history, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that Detriot is being presented as a politically conscious thriller, complete with shaky cam and loaded moral quandaries. John Boyega, Jason Mitchell, and Anthony Mackie all star as part of a large ensemble, so the film should pull in a decent audience despite the controversial subject matter. That’s important for first-time distributor Annapurna Pictures, as the production company expands to include marketing and distribution operations.
Bigelow, Boal, and Annapurna Pictures found success before with Zero Dark Thirty, and given the timely history lesson they’re presenting, I’m guessing Detroit will garner even more praise for the team.
Detroit is directed by Kathryn Bigelow and stars John Boyega, Will Poulter, and Algee Smith. It will be released in the U.S. on August 4th, 2017. Further release dates are not currently known.
Do you think Detroit will be another successful thriller for Bigelow? Let us know in the comments!