A screenwriter and filmmaker who has one of the hottest movies in this year’s Oscar race will direct a project for ABC. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that John Ridley, the screenwriter behind "12 Years a Slave," signed with the network to direct the pilot for "American Crime," which ABC greenlighted a week ago.
"’American Crime’ will examine the personal lives of the players involved in a racially charged trial as their worlds are turned upside down. Ridley will now pen the script, executive produce and direct the project alongside former ABC Studios head of drama-turned-producer Michael McDonald," THR reports.
The story adds: "The ABC Studios project marks Ridley’s return to TV and comes three years after HBO passed on his boxing drama ‘Da Brick’ and five years after ‘The Wanda Sykes Show’ ended its run. Ridley, whose small-screen credits include the ‘Barbershop’ TV series as well as ‘Third Watch,’ is said to have landed the directing gig after executives watched his Jimi Hendrix biopic ‘All Is by My Side,’ which he wrote and directed."
"12 Years a Slave," penned by Ridley and directed by Steve McQueen, is nominated for nine Academy Awards, including best motion picture of the year, best director for McQueen and best adapted screenplay for Ridley.