EXCLUSIVE: Sherri Shepherd, actress and Emmy-Award winning former co-host of ABC’s The View, has joined Aldis Hodge and Greg Kinnear to co-star the biopic Brian Banks which is being directed by Tom Shadyac. The biopic tells the story of Banks (Hodge), an All-American high school football player committed to USC by his junior year whose life was upended in 2002 when he was falsely accused of rape. Despite maintaining his innocence, Banks was railroaded through the system and sentenced to a decade of prison and parole.
With the help of the California Innocence Project, spearheaded by Justin Brooks (Kinnear), the criminal defense attorney and CIP co-founder, Banks’ conviction was overturned in 2012. He briefly played with the Atlanta Falcons in the 2013 preseason. Shepherd will portray Banks’ mother, Leomia, who was the strength that helped her son get through his traumatic trial.
The script was written by Doug Atchison who wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Akeelah and the Bee. Producing the pic is Shivani Rawat’s ShivHans Pictures, Amy Baer’s Gidden Media, and Monica Levinson. The project was originally developed through Baer’s development fund Gidden Media. Banks, Brooks, Derrick Tseng and Neil Strum are executive producers.
Shepherd’s film credits include co-starring with Katherine Heigl in One for the Money and with Chris Rock in Top Five. Additionally, she has co-starred in such movies as the award-winning Precious, Woodlawn, and voiced talent in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. Her other credits include Beauty Shop and Ride Along 2 alongside Kevin Hart.
Shepherd will segue from this film to begin shooting the second season of NBC sitcom Trial and Error starring John Lithgow in March 2018. She will reprise her co-starring role as legal secretary Anne Hatch.
Shepherd is repped by 3 Arts Entertainment, ICM Partners and attorney Nina Shaw.