Sundance: Nnamdi Asomugha on Wrongful Conviction Drama 'Crown Heights'

Courtesy of Sundance
Lakeith Stanfiled in 'Crown Heights.'

See an exclusive image from the real-life drama, which co-stars 'Atlanta' actor Lakeith Stanfield.

Brooklyn is coming to Park City with the Sundance premiere of Crown Heights.

Crown Heights, based on a 2005 This American Life episode, follows the story of best friends Colin Warner and Carl King, when Warner is wrongfully convicted of murder and King, despite having no investigative or judicial experience, dedicates himself to proving his innocence.

NFL cornerback-turned-actor Nnamdi Asomugha stars as King, with Atlanta's Lakeith Stanfield starring opposite as Warner.

"There was something very altruistic about him. It was like he wanted to free all people from any sort of injustice," said Asomugha of King, whom he spent time with in New York prior to the feature heading into production.

After being cast, Asomugha also joined Crown Heights as a producer, helping to convince writer-director Matt Ruskin that the film's production should move from New Orleans to New York, where the real events took place. He was inspired by director Cary Fukunaga, whom he worked with as an exec producer on Beasts of No Nation, saying, "He just always talked about authenticity and making sure your films are as true to life as possible."

Crown Heights will have its world premiere on Jan. 23 in the fest's U.S. dramatic competition section. It will be Asomugha's first Sundance because his football schedule always conflicted in the past. (Asomugha spent time on the Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers.)  

"Every time Sundance would come, I would want to go," he explained, "but then I would realize I was in pain because the season had just ended." 

See Warner's mug shot, as seen in Crown Heights, below.

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