EXCLUSIVE: Actress Sanaa Lathan will make her directorial debut in the Paramount Players adaptation of Angie Thomas. New York Times best seller On the rise.
The feature film project has been a priority for Paramount Players and they were impressed with Lathan’s vision for the film, the story of which comes from the author of The hate you give; that novel was made into a 2019 Fox 2000 movie.
On the rise, from the HarperCollins label Balzer & Bray, focuses on 16-year-old Bri who wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win your first battle. But it’s hard to get your idea when you’re labeled a bully at school and your refrigerator at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral … for the wrong reasons. Bri soon finds herself at the center of a controversy, portrayed by the media as more threatening than MC. But with an eviction notice staring at her family, Bri doesn’t just want to do it, she has to. Even if that means becoming what the public has made it to be.
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Lathan was nominated for a Tony in 2003 for her Broadway performance in An increase in the sun in the category of Best Outstanding Actress in a Play. He recently joined the cast of the Emmy Award-winning HBO series. Succession and will soon be seen starring in the upcoming action thriller. Hit and run in front of Lior Raz. His short film Jump, part of Within, an anthology of films shot during the lockdown, will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. Lathan’s credits include The Affair, Native Son, The Twilight Zone, plus Steven Soderbergh Contagion, By Jon Chu Now you see me 2 other American assassin in front of Michael Keaton.
Temple Hill, State Street and Angie Thomas are producing On the rise. Kay Oyegun wrote the script. Lathan is represented by CAA and Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman.
Previously, Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu was destined to direct On the rise However, I heard that a scheduling problem prevented you from going ahead with production. Paramount Players is on a mission to create genre films from unique and contemporary voices and properties.