Tom Shadyac will direct the Doug Atchison-scripted drama revolving around Brian Banks, a star football player whose path to the pros was undone by a wrongful imprisonment and ultimate exoneration. Trumbo and Captain Fantastic financier Shivani Rawat will back this through her ShivHans Pictures label. Production will begin later this summer. Project originally was incubated by Gidden Media, the development fund steered by former Sony Pictures exec and CBS Films head Amy Baer, who produced Last Vegas. She will produce with Rawat and Monica Levinson. Banks, Atchison, Justin Brooks and Neal Strum are executive producers.
An all-American high-school football player committed to USC by his junior year, Banks’ life was upended in 2002 when falsely accused of rape. Despite furiously maintaining his innocence, Brian was nonetheless railroaded through the system and sentenced to a decade of prison and parole. Ultimately, with the help of the California Innocence Project, Bank’s conviction was overturned in 2012 and he ultimately achieved his NFL dream with the Atlanta Falcons’ pre-season squad in 2013. Shadyac, the former hitmaking helmer who took a long sabbatical, sparked to the meaning of the adversity Banks faced.
“Living and teaching in Memphis for the past four years has given me an intimate look at the injustice people of color face every day,” Shadyac said in a statement. “Brian’s inspiring story is not only emblematic of that injustice, but a clarion call against a judicial system in urgent need of reform. It’s a story I had to tell.”
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