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As Hampton, Kaluuya is equally incredible — a charismatic leader, a speech-giver whose presence inspires trust and a fervent need to act. Young and budding Black activists find him magnetic. One in particular, the poet Deborah Johnson (Dominique Fishback), falls for him, which leads to a romance in which Hampton can let his guard down. But in public, he’s a dynamo. Leaders of rival groups are won over to his “Rainbow Coalition,” an alliance of organizations of many races that unite to support one another in protest against everything from poverty and substandard housing to corruption and, especially, police brutality. O’Neal tells Mitchell that Hampton could “sell salt to a slug.”
But the characters’ journey can continue to new territories, if the production wins a sequel. According to the director of the feature film, Tim Story, there is the possibility of bringing the popular duo to Brazil. The information came to light during an interview with CinePOP editor-in-chief Renato Marafon.
Judas and the Black Messiah is galvanizing, with an intoxicating energy that makes the story beats land with a jolt. Though there’s overlap between the events of this film and those of last year’s The Trial of the Chicago 7, I found myself thinking more of Steve McQueen’s Mangrove, the first of his five Small Axe films, which chronicles a 1971 trial that involved British Black Panthers. Judas and the Black Messiah evokes the texture and emotional tenor of the time, the feeling of being part of something bigger than yourself — and of knowing that someone powerful is turning their crosshairs toward you.
On this occasion, he thought with good humor to the idea of a continuation in Brazilian lands, but clarified that there are still no definite plans for a future chapter of the saga of cats: