Denzel Washington will direct Michael B. Jordan in Journal for Jordan, a film adaptation of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dana Canedy’s memoir. After years of delivering one terrific performance after another, Washington turned to directing in 2002 with Antwone Fisher, a movie that was based on the real-life Fisher’s autobiography Finding Fish. He returned to the director’s chair five years later on another true story-inspired project, The Great Debaters, but it took another nine years for Washington to call the shots on his third feature, Fences.
The latter, which was adapted from August Wilson’s Pulizer Prize-winning play, earned Washington his first Best Picture Oscar nomination, in addition to yet another Best Actor nod for his performance in the film. Fortunately, it looks like the wait for the Oscar-winner’s fourth directorial effort, Journal for Jordan, will be much shorter than the breaks between his previous three features. In fact, the film has already found its leading man.
Variety is reporting that Jordan is closing a deal to star in Journal for Jordan, with Washington directing from an adapted script by Oscar-nominee Virgil Williams (Mudbound). The project is an adaptation of Canedy’s 2008 book A Journal for Jordan: A Story of Love and Honor, which tells the story her fiancé, First Sgt. Charles Monroe King (whom Jordan will play in the film). King was killed during his time serving in Iraq back in 2006, but left behind a journal full of important life lessons and teachings for his son Jordan, who was only seven months old when King died.
Between Washington directing, Williams writing, and the meaningful subject matter, Journal for Jordan has the makings of something special, even before you factor Jordan (the actor) into the equation. It also nice to see the Creed and Black Panther star continue to find room in his schedule for standalone offerings like this, in-between his studio productions and would-be franchise starters like the upcoming Tom Clancy adaptation, Without Remorse. Case in point: Jordan’s next major big screen project is Just Mercy, a legal drama that he’s starring in for Short Term 12 and Glass Castle director Destin Daniel Cretton.
At the same time, Jordan has played an increasingly large role behind the scenes on his recent films and that will continue with Journal for Jordan, which he’s also producing alongside Washington, Escape Artist’s Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, and Steve Tisch. Depending on how the rest of the film comes together, there’s a real possibility that Washington and Jordan will both find themselves in the heat of a future awards season race for their efforts here. The same goes for whomever ends being cast as Canedy in the film, seeing as the role should be pretty substantial and emotionally-challenging.
We’ll bring you more details on Journal for Jordan as they become available.