John Legend’s Get Lifted Film Co. has partnered with Bron Studios and Tonik Productions to co-produce and finance the contemporary drama Monster, based on the novel by Walter Dean Myers.  The film stars Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, A$AP Rocky, Nas and Kelvin Harrison Jr. Anthony Mandler will make his feature directorial debut from a script by Colen C. Wiley and Janece Shaffer. The film will begin principal photography this week in New York City.

The pic centers Steve Harmon (Harrison), a 17-year-old honor student and aspiring filmmaker who prosecutors deem a “monster” after being charged with felony murder for a crime he says he did not commit. As Steve’s world comes crashing down around him, we witness his journey from a smart, likable young man from Harlem attending an elite high school through a complex legal battle that could leave him spending the rest of his life in prison.

Rounding out the cast are Jennifer Ehle, Tim Blake Nelson, John David Washington and Jeffrey Wright.

Monster will be produced by Bron Studios’ Aaron L. Gilbert, and Tonik Productions’ Nikki Silver and Tonya Lewis Lee, with producers Mike Jackson of Get Lifted Film Co and Charlevoix’s Edward Nahem.

Nas and Legend will exec produce along with Daniel Crown, Yoni Liebling, Jason Cloth, Richard McConnell, and Linnea Roberts. WME Global will rep the film.