Apparently sick of all these “anti-heroes” or “conflicted figures” that are so in vogue these days, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is gearing up for some good old-fashioned cinematic bigot-bashing. The Looper star is teaming up with Amazon for an adaptation of the story of K Troop, the U.S. Army unit that worked to stamp out the Ku Klux Klan in the post-Civil War South.
Gordon-Levitt (who’s also producing) will potentially star as the unit’s leader, Lewis Merrill, who applied his experience fighting off guerrilla attacks during the Civil War to the task of rooting out and destroying the then-nascent secret society. (Successfully, too; the group didn’t crawl back into the light until its second incarnation in 1915.)
The film is being based on a soon-to-be-published Slate article from novelist Matthew Pearl, detailing the unit’s efforts to cripple the subversive group, which worked to intimidate and assassinate pro-Reconstruction figures in the post-war era. K Troop is just the latest in a long slate of projects Amazon has picked up recently (including an in-the-works Woody Allen TV show). None of these (or Oliver Stone’s Snowden, for that matter, which Gordon-Levitt is also starring in) have quite the same easily marketed good vs. evil catharsis, though, of watching the nice boy from The Walk fight off some evil racists.