Lee Daniels is planning to direct a biopic about Brian Banks

101211-celebs-lee-danielsI’m not much of a Lee Daniels fan so far to date, I’ll be up front about that. At the same time though, I do think he has the potential to really blow me away if he ever finds the right material for his sensibilities or streamlines himself more in overt awards bait. If the latter is what he’s planning for this upcoming biopic of football player Brian Banks (aptly called The Brian Banks Story...or perhaps soon to be Lee Daniels’ The Brian Banks Story) that he’s signing on to make, then we might have an Oscar player on our hands. He couldn’t make it happen last year with Lee Daniels’ The Butler, but this could fare better. Banks’ story is as much about race and the justice system as sports, so this is one to watch. You can see more below, but with the right cast, Daniels could do pretty well with this one. Stay tuned…

Here’s the story from Variety:

Lee Daniels has signed on to develop “The Brian Banks Story” about the football player who was falsely accused of rape.

The project will be produced by Amy Baer through her Gidden Media banner and directed by Daniels. Justin Brooks and Neil Strum are exec producing.

His most recent film, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” grossed over $167 million worldwide.

“Lee is a filmmaker who looks at challenging circumstances with honesty, compassion, and hope,” Baer said. “He has an emotional connection to Brian’s story that I’m certain will result in a powerful and redemptive film.”

“All I ever wanted was to prove my innocence,” Banks said. “Telling my story in the form of a feature film is beyond my wildest dreams.”

Banks is an All-American high school football player who, in 2002, had committed to USC’s football program before being accused of rape. Banks maintained his innocence, but a hasty plea bargain resulted in Brian serving over five years in prison, five years on parole and registering as a sex offender.

Through the California Innocence Project, Banks’ conviction was overturned in 2012. He played in four pre-season games for the Atlanta Falcons and is now a motivational speaker and an activist and spokesperson for the California Innocence Project.

Thoughts? Discuss in the comments!

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Written by Joey Magidson

When he’s not obsessing over new Oscar predictions on a weekly basis, Joey is seeing between 300 and 350 movies a year. He views the best in order to properly analyze the awards race/season each year, but he also watches the worst for reasons he mostly sums up as "so you all don't have to". In his spare time, you can usually find him complaining about the Jets or the Mets. Still, he lives and dies by film. Joey's a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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