John Legend Developing Movie About “Major” Taylor – Deadline


EXCLUSIVE:  Get Lifted Film Co. and Mandalay Pictures have a new feature drama in the works based on the life of cycling champion Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor, entitled The Black Cyclone.

Alan Fox (Queens of the Stoned Age, Wisdom) is writing with Jason Michael Berman of Mandalay Pictures and Mike Jackson and John Legend of Get Lifted Film Co. producing.

The Black Cyclone charts the legendary rise of Taylor, once proclaimed the fastest man in America at the turn of the 20th century. In 1896, only months after the landmark “Separate but Equal” Supreme Court ruling, Major Taylor rockets onto the national scene in an unauthorized Six Day Race at Madison Square Garden. Thus begins Taylor’s extraordinary journey from obscurity to becoming one of the greatest athletes in American history. The feature project will pull back the curtain on Taylor – the world’s first Black sports superstar – his obstacles amidst the racial oppression of the era, his relationships, ultimately, his legacy for greatness.

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EPs are Ty Stiklorius and MacKenzie Marlowe of Get Lifted, Will Raynor of Mandalay Pictures, and Fox.

“We are thrilled to bring The Black Cyclone to a global audience,” said Get Lifted Co-Founder Mike Jackson and Mandalay Pictures President Jason Michael Berman, “this is exactly the kind of story we look for when developing projects. Alan wrote a beautiful script, and we are looking forward to going out with it to talent.”

Fox burst onto the scene with his play Safe Space, which premiered in the summer of 2019, directed by Tony award winner Jack O’Brien. The play caught the attention of Amy Pascal, who is producing Fox’s feature adaptation of the play, as well as his untitled Charlie Chaplin movie for Pascal Pictures. He is also writing Queens of the Stoned Age for Sony Pictures with Dakota Johnson attached to star and Carrie Brownstien (Portlandia, Carol) attached to direct, as well as Shared Wisdom for 21 Laps and Sight Unseen with Kyle Patrick Alvarez (Stanford Prison Experiment, Homecoming) attached to direct. He is repped by CAA, Grandview, and Brecheen Feldman Breimer Silver & Thompson.