Academy Award-winning musician and actor Lonnie Rashid Lynn, better known as the rapper Common, and Fences‘ co-star Mykelti Williamson has signed onto the indie feature film Saint Judy for director/producer Sean Hanish. Others that have not been announced are Leem Lubany (Rock the Kasbah), Ben Schnetzer (Goat), Waleed Zuaiter (London Has Fallen) and Aimee Garcia (FOX’s Lucifer).
Others already reported to be in the film are Alfred Molina, Michelle Monaghan, Alfre Woodard, Peter Krause, Kevin Chapman and Gabriel Bateman.
Saint Judy is about Judy Wood, a public defender from New Mexico who moves to LA with her 9-year-old son. After being unable to secure a job in the public defender’s office, she takes on a job working for an immigration lawyer and embraces the case of a persecuted Afghan teacher and ultimately works to change how the U.S. law is administered.
Saint Judy was written by Dmitry Portnoy with Cannonball principals Hanish and Paul Jaconi-Biery producing with Kelly Kahl, Molina, Gabriela Lugo, and Jaime Surenkamp on as exec producers. Derek Beamer is co-producer.
The project was developed by Cannonball with Portnoy who interned with attorney Judy Wood and told the production company about the story.
Common was one of the composers (along with John Legend) of the Oscar-winning song Glory from Oscar-nominated Best Picture Selma. Common is not the only one who is musically-inclined on the set of Saint Judy.
Williamson plays Dikembe Mustafa, a renowned psychiatrist in his native country who is stuck in a legal limbo without a work visa until Judy Wood enters his life; He ends up proving to be a key ally in her fight for her client. Lubany who will play Aseefa, a young Afghani woman facing deportation, previously, she not only co-starred but previously performed three songs on the soundtrack of director Barry Levinson’s Rock The Kasbah (which also starred Bill Murray).
UTA Independent Film Group is selling the film for domestic distribution.