Mahershala Ali May Star in 'Solitary' As Prisoner Who Spent 43 Years In Solitary Confinement
Just get another Oscar ready for Mahershala Ali: The two-time Oscar winner is looking to produce and star in the grueling true story of a man who spent 43 years in solitary confinement in a Louisiana prison.
Albert Woodfox just published his memoir, "Unbroken By Four Decades In Solitary Confinement, My Story of Transformation and Hope."
Convicted first of auto theft and then the murder of a prison guard (which he's always denied committing), he spent the longest stretch on record in the U.S. in 23-hour-day solitary confinement. His time was done in a six-by-nine foot cell. He was let out only one hour per day in the exercise yard by himself.
Woodfox was released in 2016 and used the $90,000 he was paid for reparation for cruel and unusual punishment from the state of Louisiana to buy a house in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, where he currently lives.
Ali met Woodfox earlier this year after reading his memoir.
Woodfox, who was a Black Panther, become an activist within the prison, which may be why, his book suggests, he was a convenient target to pin a murder on. He also writes about the kinship with two other wrongly accused men with whom he managed to communicate and organize protests, hunger strikes and eventually reforms at Angola.
Ali won Best Supporting Actor Oscar for "Moonlight," and then two years later won Best Supporting Actor again for "Green Book." An Emmy nominee for his work on "House of Cards," he's in Emmy contention for his work on the third season of HBO's "True Detective."
Fox Searchlight is currently making a deal to option the rights to the book.