The novel was chosen for Curry’s Underrated Book Club. It’s the second book by Rhodes to be optioned as a film and the first book from Underrated to be sold.
The story follows 12-year-old Donte, who wishes he were more like his popular, lighter-skinned brother, Trey. After being framed by the school bully, who’s also the school fencing captain, for something he didn’t do, Donte joins a local youth center and meets disgraced former Olympic fencer Arden Jones. With Arden’s help, he starts training as a competitive fencer, setting his sights on taking down his nemesis.
Curry and Erick Peyton produce for Unanimous Media, whose Brian Tetsuro Ivie and Jenelle Lindsay will serve as a creative producer for and is leading development on the project.
“Jewell’s Black Brother, Black Brother is a powerful story that addresses prejudice, colorism and bullying through an amazing sports lens,” Peyton said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Netflix; it is really the only place it belongs.”
Rhodes’ books also include Ghost Boys, Paradise on Fire, Towers Falling and the Louisiana Girls trilogy of Ninth Ward, Sugar and Bayou Magic.
Founded by Curry and Peyton, Unanimous Media produces TV, film, digital and general content with the goal of elevating diverse voices and shining a light on narratives that need to be heard with a focus on family, sports and faith-based content. It produces ABC’s Holey Moley and HBO Max’s upcoming Untitled Celebrity Date Night Project and soon will begin production on the animated revival of Norman Lear’s Good Time. The company also is developing One and Done, a women’s basketball-themed film it will produce in partnership with Sony Pictures and Martin Lawrence’s Runteldat Entertainment.