After recently, finally following up Little Miss Sunshine with Ruby Sparks, directing duo Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris have settled on their next project: a film about Huey Newton, the quirky co-founder of militant black empowerment and whimsical dance troupe The Black Panthers. Co-written by Jim Hecht—whose work on Ice Age: The Meltdown saw him similarly dabbling in the sort of revolutionary social change and comical chasing of acorns that defined the Black Panther Party—the project, titled The Big Cigar, will be based on his collaborator Joshua Bearman's recent article about the Argo-esque mission undertaken by Easy Rider producer Bert Schneider, who concocted a fake movie shoot as a cover for smuggling Newton into Cuba to duck a murder charge. (Making fake movies to hide the smuggling of humans was the sort of thing that happened all the time in the '70s, apparently. For example, Mother Jugs And Speed was just a front for rescuing political prisoners in Lebanon.) That balance of fanciful zaniness mixed with an undercurrent of bittersweet murdering is obviously what attracted Dayton and Faris to the material, especially given that Little Miss Sunshine and Ruby Sparks have already made similar arguments for the eradication of white people.
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