Lee Daniels' next project to be 'The Brian Banks Story'

By Kyle Johnson,

Lee Daniels' next directorial project will be The Brian Banks Story, which follows the true story of a high school football player falsely accused of rape.

The film is currently still in early stages as the screenplay is not yet finished, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Justin Brooks and Neil Strum are on board to executive produce the project, while Amy Baer will produce.

Daniels most recently directed the $167 million-grossing Lee Daniels' The Butler, which starred Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, and also helmed the pilot episode of series Empire.

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

Brian Banks was an All-American high school football player who was accused of rape shortly after he committed to attending USC in 2002. Though he claimed he was falsely accused, a plea bargain resulted in him serving more than five years in prison and also had to register as a sex offender.

Eventually, with the help of the California Innocence Project, the conviction was overturned. "All I ever wanted was to prove my innocence," he said. "Telling my story in the form of a feature film is beyond my wildest dreams."

Though Banks currently spends his time as a motivational speaker, he did get to play in four preseason games last year for the Atlanta Falcons, but was eventually released.

image courtesy of Kristin Callahan/ACE/INFphoto.com

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