'My Black Friend' headed to big screen

Chris Rock to star in project from Lionsgate, Harpo

Lionsgate and Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Films are partnering to develop the comedy "Will You Be My Black Friend?" with Chris Rock starring.

The project stems from a November GQ magazine article written by senior correspondent Devin Friedman, who began a self-conscious search for black friends on Craigslist. The white, married Manhattan journalist then pursued his quixotic quest to expand his social circle, with unexpected results.

Winfrey, Kate Forte and Carla Gardini of Harpo are producing. Gardini brought the project to Harpo, and will supervise the production alongside Lionsgate's Mike Paseornek and Charisse Nesbit. Lionsgate will distribute the film worldwide.

"This is a story that takes on themes of race and friendship in a very modern and unexpected way," Forte said.

Winfrey is also a co-presenter and executive producer on the festival hit "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' By Sapphire," which Lionsgate is releasing in November.

The ICM-repped Rock most recently co-wrote, executive produced and co-starred in the documentary "Good Hair," which hits theaters Friday via Roadside Attractions. He next will star in the Screen Gems comedy "Death at a Funeral," which he also co-wrote and produced. It will be released in April.

Harpo produced "The Great Debaters," "Tuesdays With Morrie" and "Their Eyes Were Watching God."
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