Joseph Gordon-Levitt Is Helping Amazon Tell The KKK's Infamous Origin Story

The KKK is one of the most infamous hate groups ever to have existed on American soil, with the organization's history of resilience well documented in the history books. The first era of the group's history is about to be explored in K Troop, a film acquired by Amazon Studios and produced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

The Hollywood Reporter picked up on the news that Amazon's film branch had picked up the rights to the adaptation of a Slate article detailing the KKK's initial iteration and its eventual demise at the hands of Major Lewis Merrill. Merrill was the man who headed up the titular organization, tasked with the purpose of combating the fledgling hate group as it was rising to prominence. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is on-board as K-Troop's producer, as well as the film's potential lead. 


It seems like a happy coincidence that K-Troop would be developed in the same year as The Birth of a Nation, especially considering both film's plots involving an examination of one of the most racially charged eras in American history. But looking at the failure of Netflix to land the latter film, the fact that Amazon Studios landed K-Troop could spell future success in terms of a streaming service being nominated for the Academy Award. It could also make big waves for Joseph Gordon-Levitt's career as a producer. 

With the group's recent headline grabbing actions during this year's election cycle, K-Troop couldn't have picked a better time to make itself known. Judging by the description of Amazon's competitive acquisition, the market seems to have taken the same attitude and wants in while the getting's good. Should that competition directly translate to audience enthusiasm, all involved may have a legitimate hit on their hands. 

Even better is the fact that, should he see fit, Joseph Gordon-Levitt could take the plunge as a triple threat and decide to produce, star in, and direct K-Troop as his second directorial effort. Seeing as it's been three years since he broke into the director's chair with Don Jon, we're long overdue for another Gordon-Levitt directed project. A project like K-Troop would provide even more of a challenge for the sophomore director's developing skills behind the camera, and seeing his view of history would be a draw for audiences both old and young. 

Of course, all of this is pure speculation, as K-Troop is in such an early phase of development that it's still looking for a writer to flesh out the actual script. But with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Amazon Studios mounting the production, our interest in this historically relevant project is only beginning to grow. We'll see what happens as K-Troop makes its way through the development phases, and we'll report any further developments as they occur. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.