The story behind “BlacKkKlansman” is so outrageous that director and cowriter Spike Lee (“She’s Gotta Have It”) put the following disclaimer in the trailer, which debuted online yesterday (May 14): 

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“BlacKkKlansman” draws from the real story of former Colorado Springs Police Department detective Ron Stallworth. The movie follows Stallworth, portrayed by “Ballers” actor John David Washington (son of Lee’s frequent collaborator Denzel Washington), as he infiltrates a local Ku Klux Klan chapter during the 1970s. One clip shows his White colleagues incredulously watching as he impersonates a White supremacist over the phone with David Duke (Topher Grace, “That ’70s Show”).

The trailer shows how Stallworth successfully dupes the KKK and rises through the chapter ranks via a White proxy, a Jewish colleague named Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”). The film also stars Laura Harrier (“Spider-Man: Homecoming”) as Patrice, a student activist, and Corey Hawkins (“Straight Outta Compton”) as Kwame Ture.

Lee released the trailer on the same date that the movie premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. The Hollywood Reporter said that the audience gave the film a 10-minute standing ovation.

“BlacKkKlansman” opens in theaters on August 10. Jordan Peele (“Get Out”) produces.