EXCLUSIVE: NBC is developing Finding Forrester, a drama series based on the 2000 Gus Van Sant movie that starred the late Sean Connery. It hails from The Chi co-executive producers TJ Brady & Rasheed Newson, director Tim Story, NBA star Stephen Curry and his Unanimous Media as well as Sony Pictures Television.
In the film, a black teenager (Rob Brown), a gifted writer and basketball player, lands a scholarship to a prestigious private high school and befriends a reclusive Scottish writer (Connery).
The TV adaptation, written by Brady and Newson and to be directed by Story, is changing up the mentor character, played in the movie by Connery. The series examines the cost of success and the price of redemption through the unique bond between two gifted black writers: a homeless 16-year-old orphan who leverages his basketball skills to hustle his way into an ultra-competitive elite boarding school and a reclusive lesbian author whose career was ruined by a public scandal.
Brady and Newson executive produce alongside Curry and Erick Peyton via Unanimous Media as well as Story and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett for The Story Co. Sony Pictures TV is the studio.
The 2000 movie, written by Mike Rich and directed by Van Sant, grossed $80 million worldwide. Watch a trailer below.
Story is the first Black director to gross $1 billion at the box office, with seven No. 1 openers: Ride Along 2, Think Like a Man Too, Ride Along, Think Like a Man, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Fantastic Four and Barbershop. He currently is in post-production on Tom & Jerry for Warner Bros. Pictures, which will debut in 2021. Story is repped by UTA, Ziffren Brittenham and the Collins Jackson Agency.
Finding Forrester is part of the film and television deal Curry inked with Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2018. Unanimous Media, founded by three-time NBA champion and two-time MVP Curry and Peyton, aims to elevate diverse voices and shine a light on narratives that need to be heard with a focus on family, sports and faith-based content. The company’s ABC reality series Holey Moley was nominated for a 2020 TCA award. Their upcoming projects include the animated revival of Norman Lear’s Good Times for Netflix and the women’s basketball-inspired film One and Done, which they will produce in partnership with Sony Pictures and Martin Lawrence’s Runteldat Entertainment. Additionally, Unanimous has moved into the podcast space by scoring a first-look deal with Audible.
Brady and Newson, whose series credits also include Shooter and The 100, are repped by UTA.