Sterling K. Brown has had one heck of a year. The actor is still fresh off his nomination for a Screen Actors Guild Award for his role as Randall Pearson on the NBC hit drama series, This is Us. Now, it’s being reported that the actor is expected to appear in an upcoming biopic film, according to Variety.
The actor is currently in negotiation stages to star in Fox Searchlight’s The Fence. The movie is based on the book, The Fence: A Police Cover-Up Along Boston’s Racial Divide, by award-winning Boston Globe journalist Dick Lehr, and tells the true story of Michael Cox. Cox is an African-American cop who goes undercover but is mistaken for a criminal and is “brutally beaten by his own force following one of the largest police chases in Boston history.” After the incident, Cox begins to search for answers and seek justice for his heinous experience.
However, he finds himself facing several setbacks as he’s now on the other side of the law and the other side of the “blue wall of silence” as the police department works overtime to cover up the crime.
Peter Nicks is set to direct the feature and Emmy-nominated writer George Pelecanos, known for his work on projects including Treme, The Wire, and The Deuce, will work alongside author/screenwriter Dennis Lehane, who is known for his work on Gone Baby Gone, Mr. Mercedes, and Shutter Island, to co-write the film. Lehane is also credited with bringing the book to HBO before Fox Searchlight actually acquired the rights.
“I’m from Boston, and this particular story intersects with my family’s story, and my personal story, in kind of coincidental and profound ways,” Nicks told Vogue last fall.
“Being a black filmmaker, trying to reconcile whose story am I telling, has been a profound experience. This has been the most difficult professional project I’ve encountered,” he continued.
Producers for The Fence currently include Jim Kohlberg and Luke Parker Bowles of Story Mining & Supply Co., and Jeffrey Sharp of Sharp Independent. Lehane, Pelecanos, and Siegfried Harris have also been tasked with the role of executive producers.
While there is no official production date as of now, it’s likely that production will begin during Brown’s This Is Us hiatus in the spring. Brown’s most recent credits include his roles in Fox’s The Predator, Marvel’s Black Panther, and FX’s American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson. He will also be a part of Paramount’s upcoming The Rhythm Section.
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