11:00am PT by Bryn Elise Sandberg
HBO Acquires Jeffrey Wright Prison Movie 'O.G.'
HBO has acquired a new film.
The premium cable network has snatched up the rights to the narrative feature O.G., starring Westworld star Jeffrey Wright. The film, directed by Emmy-winner Madeleine Sackler and written by Stephen Belber, first premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, where Wright won the award for best actor in a U.S. narrative feature film.
O.G., which also stars Theothus Carter and William Fichtner, was filmed entirely on location at Indiana’s maximum-security Pendleton Correctional Facility. It follows Louis (Wright), once the head of a prominent prison gang, in the final weeks of his 24-year sentence. His impending release is upended when he takes new arrival Beecher (Carter), who is being courted by gang leadership, under his wing. Coming to grips with the indelibility of his crime and the challenge of reentering society, Louis finds his freedom hanging in the balance as he struggles to save Beecher.
"We are proud to bring filmmaker Madeleine Sackler’s film to HBO audiences," said Amato. "Groundbreaking in being filmed at an actual prison, with many of the men incarcerated there cast in acting roles, O.G. takes an intimate and unflinching look at the journey of one man — masterfully portrayed by Jeffrey Wright — at the precipice of freedom."
"Over the past four years, I had the unique opportunity to collaborate with men incarcerated at Pendleton Correctional Facility and the staff at the Indiana Department of Correction," adds Sackler. "Our shared goal was to make a film that would give audiences an authentic glimpse at life inside a maximum security prison. We are thrilled to be partnering with HBO to bring O.G. into the world."
In addition to acquiring O.G., HBO has also snatched up the rights to the documentary It's a Hard Truth Ain't It, which was shot at Pendleton during the same production period as O.G. The documentary is co-directed by Sackler and 13 men incarcerated at Pendleton, who study filmmaking as a vehicle to tell their own stories. Several of these men were also cast as first-time actors in O.G. The documentary sees them explore their memories and how they ended up with decades-long sentences, with animated sequences by Yoni Goodman (Waltz with Bashir) bringing their stories to life.
O.G. is an HBO Films and Maven Pictures Presentation in association with Brookstreet Pictures, a Great Curve Films production of a Madeleine Sackler film. Producers include Sackler, Boyd Holbrook, Trudie Styler, Celine Rattray, Nick Gordon, Trevor Matthews, Stephen Belber and Ged Dickersin. In addition, Sharon Chang, Kareem “Biggs” Burke, Mark Steele and Nic Marshall serve as executive producers. It's a Hard Truth Ain't It, for its part, is an HBO Documentary Films presentation of a Great Curve Films and Stacey Reiss production.