The Spook Who Sat By The Door has officially enlisted its lead actress.
It was announced that Christina Jackson will star alongside Y’lan Noel in the FX adaptation of Sam Greenlee’s spy novel, which will be produced by Lee Daniels.
Jackson, who is known for her roles on Boardwalk Empire, Outsiders and An Unfinished Life, will portray Joy Freeman, a rising attorney determined that leave an impact in her community via social justice. The pilot, written by Leigh Dana Jackson and to be directed by Gerard McMurray, tells the tale of Dan Freeman (Noel), the token Black operative in the CIA who conceals his ideals as a Black revolutionary from his comrades.
The description of the potential series that floated around back in 2018 said that the project “looks at the fictional story of Dan Freeman, the first African American CIA officer hired by the agency in the late 1960s. The story chronicles the quest of Freeman, who was recruited as part of an affirmative action program. After a very competitive selection process, he trains in high-level combat and espionage. However, following this arduous training, this model recruit is rewarded with a post in the reprographics (aka photocopying) department, ‘left by the door’ as a token of the CIA’s ‘racial equality.’”
This isn’t the first adaptation of Freeman’s novel. The Spook Who Sat By The Door was previously adapted into a 1973 feature film starring Lawrence Cook and Janet League. In 2012, the movie was added to the National Film Registry.
Noel is known for his roles as Daniel King in the HBO series Insecure, as well as his roles in Stella Meghie’s romantic drama The Photograph and the horror drama The First Purge.
Daniels is known for his directorial efforts such as The United States vs. Billie Holiday, Precious, The Butler, The Paperboy and shows like Empire and Star.