True Korean War Fighter Pilot Story ‘Devotion’ Set At Black Label With Glen Powell To Star

Black Label Media has optioned rights to Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice, and will make a film about the true story at the center of Adam Makos’ 2015 book about two Korean War Navy pilots — one from an affluent white New England family, the other the black son of a Mississippi sharecropper — who became two of the top pilots in U.S. history.

Glen Powell, who played John Glenn in the Oscar-nominated Hidden Figures, will star in the pic and develop the script with Jake Crane and Jonathan Stewart, whose Black Winter made the Black List in 2014. Black Label’s Molly Smith, Rachel Smith, Thad Luckinbill and Trent Luckinbill will produce, with Jon Schumacher executive producing.

Makos’ novel digs into an unexplored chapter in American combat history. Set during the Korean War in an era fraught with racial disparity, Tom Hudner decided to forgo Harvard to join the Navy, while Jesse Brown became the first black man in U.S. Naval history to become a fighter pilot. Despite their differences, an unbreakable bond was forged and the two would become known as the U.S. Navy’s most celebrated aviator duo. Powell will play Hudner.

F9F-2 Panther of VF-24 over Korea in June 1952
F9F-2 Panther of VF-24 over Korea in June 1952

Powell’s recent credits include the upcoming Set It Up on Netflix and opposite Lily James in StudioCanal’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. He’s repped by ICM Partners, Untitled Management and Bloom Hergott.

Black Label, which co-financed and executive produced La La Land, was also behind the recent pics 12 Strong, Only the Brave, Rebel in the Rye and Demolition. Up next is Stefano Sollima’s Sicario 2: Soldado at Sony bowing June 29 and Netflix’s Sierra Burgess is a Loser coming later this year.

Crane and Stewart are repped by CAA, Oasis Media Group, and Robbie Koch.