In 2018, as reported by the New York Times, former FBI Agent Terry J. Albury was sentenced to four years in prison for leaking documents to the press about what his lawyer called “discriminatory practices and policies” Albury allegedly witnessed and “implemented” as part of his job. Now Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Michael B. Jordan are pooling their talents to tell Albury’s side of the story in I Helped Destroy People.
The news comes courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, who says Yahya Abdul-Mateen II will star in the film which is coming from Amazon Studios. Jordan will produce the feature and there is no word yet on him joining the cast. Ben Watkins (Burn Notice) has been recruited to write the script. The film is an adaptation of the September 2021 New York Times article about what Albury did, why he did it, and what he paid for it.
When Albury — the man Yahya Abdul-Mateen II will play in the upcoming film — began working in Minneapolis’ counterterrorism unit, he was the only Black agent there, and so he was picked to infiltrate the city’s Somali-American community. Along the way, Albury became fed up with what he saw as abuses of power within the agency, including the alleged racial and religious profiling of citizens. The agent began secretly recording documents, including those which offered agents “loopholes” through due process. He leaked many of the documents to The Intercept, and was arrested in August 2017 after a 17-month long internal investigation. In the article inspiring the film, Albury says he leaked the documents after deciding what he was a part of was no longer acceptable. “I did it because it got to a point where the reality of what I was a part of hit me in a way that just shattered my existence,” Albury told the New York Times. He continued, “There is this mythology surrounding the war on terrorism, and the F.B.I., that has given agents the power to ruin the lives of completely innocent people based solely on what part of the world they came from, or what religion they practice, or the color of their skin. And I did that. I helped destroy people. For 17 years.”
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II seems like a wonderful choice for the role. In spite of a relatively young screen acting career, Abdul-Mateen has racked up acclaim and an impressive resume. He won a Primetime Emmy for his performance as the omniscient Doctor Manhattan in HBO’s Watchmen miniseries and amazed both critics and audiences with 2020’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 and last year’s Candyman remake. Next month he’ll join Jake Gyllenhaal in the Michael Bay directed action thriller Ambulance and next year he’ll reprise the role of the vengeful Black Manta in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
As for Michael B. Jordan, he’ll once again be putting on the boxing gloves for Creed III. The film will not only mark Jordan’s third time as Adonis Creed, but Jordan’s first time in the director’s chair. Production on the film began in January and Jonathan Majors (The Harder They Fall) will play Jordan’s antagonist. Creed III is expected to be released in November.