The Hustle & Flow star will reteam with Empire co-creator Danny Strong for The Best Of Enemies, which he will produce with Tobey Maguire via the actor's Material Pictures vehicle.

The Hunger Games producer Robin Bissell will make his directorial debut with the project, which is based on writer Osha Gray Davidson's 1996 book The Best Of Enemies: Race And Redemption In The New South, reports

It follows the tense relationship between Durham, North Carolina activist Atwater and segregation supporter Ellis, the Exalted Cyclops of the local arm of the extremist right-wing group, throughout the fight for civil rights in the 1960s.

They were appointed co-chairs of a meeting to oversee the court-ordered desegregation of schools in Durham in 1971 and became unlikely friends, with Ellis having a change of heart and renouncing the Klan on the final night of the 10-day community gathering. He subsequently became an advocate for civil rights.

The role of Ellis has yet to be cast.

Production is due to begin early next year (16).