It has been about five years we all have been talking about this, but now we can let everyone know, yes this is happening!
A new movie about former neo-Nazi Bryon Widner is set to begin production with Jamie Bell (Turn, Jane Eyre) as Widner. Up-and-coming actress Danielle MacDonald (Patty Cake$) is also set to star, and roles are still being cast including that of One People’s Project founder Daryle Lamont Jenkins, who help bring Widner out of hate politics.
Inspired by the documentary Erasing Hate, and under development for the past five years, Skin is the story of how Widner went through a redemption process from being an enforcer in the Vinlander Social Club to anti-racist activist, a process that involved him removing his neo-Nazi tattoos. According to the industry trade Screen Daily, the movie will tell the story of how Widner falls in love with a mother of three daughters (MacDonald) his gang, resulting in the arrest of its leaders, and how he received a $70,000 gift from a Holocaust survivor to pay for painful surgery to remove the facial tattoos.
Bell won a Best Actor BAFTA Award for his performance playing the title character in the 2000 film Billy Elliot. He is currently known for his role as Revolutionary War spy Abraham Woodhull in the AMC series Turn: Washington’s Spies. MacDonald is considered the breakout star at the Sundance Movie Festival for her portrayal of a rapper from New Jersey named Killa P in the movie Patty Cake$, which will be in theaters this summer.
Widner, Jenkins and Arno Michaelis, a former neo-Nazi who was the frontman for the band Centurion and now works with the anti-racist group Serve to Unite, were seen as activists helping family members involved with the Ku Klux Klan to break away from the hate group in the A&E docuseries Escaping the KKK, but the series canceled before it aired after controversies ranging from concerns of normalizing the Ku Klux Klan, and supposed payments to Klan members were raised. It is not known if the series will still air anytime in the near future.
Skin will be the fourth feature from director Guy Nattiv, whose The Flood (Mabul) won the Generation Kplus – Best Feature Film at the 2011 Berlinale and was nominated for six Israeli Academy Ophir Awards. It will be his first feature in the United States. It is produced by Code Entertainment’s Al Corley, Bart Rosenblatt, and Eugene Musso along with Owen Moverman, Nattiv and his wife actress Jaime Ray Newman, who will also be seen in the upcoming Netflix series Marvel’s The Punisher. Jonathan Dana serves as executive producer, along with ITEM 7’s Marie-Claude Poulin and Pierre Even.
Nattiv also directed a short film also titled Skin, which while not the same story also deals with the world of neo-Nazis, and is currently in production. Daryle Lamont Jenkins and Bryon Widner are consulting producers. Production of the motion picture will begin late summer 2017.