Lucas' life was dramatized in the Universal Pictures crime film American Gangster (2007), in which he was portrayed by Denzel Washington. In an interview with MSNBC, Lucas expressed his excitement about the film and amazement at Washington's portrayal, though he admitted only a small portion of the film was true, much of it fabricated for narrative effect. In addition, Richie Roberts criticized the film for portraying him in a custody battle while in real life Roberts never had a child; he also criticized the portrayal of Lucas, describing it as almost noble.