Octavia Spencer In Talks To Star In True Tragedy Fruitvale
After her Oscar-winning turn in The Help, Octavia Spencer is at long last getting her pick of projects. Already she's signed on to join Bong Joon-ho's much-anticipated English language debut Snowpiercer, as well as Diablo Cody's untitled directorial debut. And now the incredible actress who stole our hearts as the brave and generous Minny Jackson has entered into final talks to front another drama that will tackle a controversial story.
THR reports Spencer is nearly set to join the cast of Fruitvale, an indie drama produced by Forest Whitaker under his Significant Productions banner. Written and directed by first-time feature helmer Ryan Coogler, the film will explore the tragic true story of Oscar Grant, the 22-year-old black man who was fatally shot in the back by police in San Francisco after being detained on New Year's Day 2009. Unfolding on the platform of the Fruitvale platform of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, the event was recorded on numerous camera phones, then the trial and verdict that followed incited public outcry in the form of protests and riots.
Should she sign on, Spencer would play Grant's strong-willed and devoted mother. Fruitvale producers are currently in final negotiations to secure Michael B. Jordan, who memorably played troubled teen Vince Howard on season four of Friday Night Lights, to portray Grant. The film will reveal Grant and his tragic death through following him on his last day as he interacts with friends, family, strangers and enemies. It's sure to strike a chord in the wake of the similarly disturbing incident out of Sanford, Florida, where unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin was fatally shot by Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman.
Many public figures have come forward to show their support for the Martin family, and to urge local police to criminally charge Zimmerman, which finally occurred on April 11th. By signing on, Spencer and Jordan will not only be making a bolder statement than wearing a hoodie in public, but also be committing to a drama that's sure to draw debate.
Significant Productions hopes to go into production on Fruitvale this July in Northern California.
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