‘Birth of a Nation’ director and star Nate Parker attempts to mount a comeback with a new project about a hero cop

Nate Parker.

caption
Nate Parker.
source
Frederick M. Brown/Getty

  • Nate Parker has signed on to direct a police drama about a real-life hero LAPD detective.
  • This is his follow-up to his directorial debut, “The Birth of a Nation,” which after winning the grand prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival was derailed when a 1999 rape trail against the actor-director resurfaced.

Nate Parker has laid low since a 1999 rape trail involving him – and subsequent suicide of his accuser – resurfaced leading up to his 2016 directorial debut, “The Birth of a Nation,” which didn’t just derail the movie’s success but its award season hopes.

Now the actor-director is attempting a comeback. It was announced on Friday that Parker has signed on to direct the police drama, “Black & Blue,” according to Deadline.

The movie looks at the career of Los Angeles Police Department detective Ralph Waddy, who was involved in some of the most notorious moments in Los Angeles, including the Watts riots, Robert Kennedy’s assassination, and the Manson Murders at actress Sharon Tate’s house.

This follows revelations in February that Parker was casting a web series titled “Baselines” about a Los Angeles family driven to protect their son, a talented basketball player, from the dangers of inner-city life.

Parker’s directorial debut, “The Birth of a Nation,” won the grand jury prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was destined for major award season consideration as the movie was bought at the festival by Fox Searchlight for $17.5 million. But Parker faced a media firestorm after a 17-year-old rape case from his his time attending Penn State University resurfaced before the movie’s theatrical release.

The woman who alleged Parker and “Birth of a Nation” co-writer Jean Celestin assaulted her, committed suicide in 2012. Parker was acquitted in the case and has maintained that he was unjustly charged.