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Based on a true story, the upcoming film centers on revolutionary businessmen Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson) as they devise a bold plan to take on the racially oppressive establishment of the 1960s and help other African Americans pursue the American dream. They train a working-class white man (Nicholas Hoult) to pose as the rich and privileged face of their growing real estate and banking empire, while Garrett and Morris pose as a janitor and a chauffeur. Their success ultimately draws the attention of the federal government, which threatens everything they have built.
Nia Long, Jessie T. Usher and Colm Meaney also star in the film, which was produced by Joel Viertel, Brad Feinstein, George Nolfi, Nnamdi Asomugha, Jonathan Baker, David Lewis Smith and Mackie. Joseph F. Ingrassia, Jackson, Will Greenfield, David Gendron and Ali Jazayeri executive produced. George Nolfi directed the drama and co-wrote the script with Niceole Levy, David Lewis Smith and Stan Younger from a story by Smith, Younger and Brad Caleb Kane.
The trailer opens with Garrett pitching Morris his idea to buy a bank. “Owning a bank is like owning the other side of the real estate business,” says Garrett. Morris quickly responds that Garrett was forgetting a major “complexity,” which is that they’re both black.
Despite the skepticism from his peers, Garrett continues to pursue his plan. He receives encouragement from his wife, Eunice (Long), before he eventually persuades Morris to invest in his idea.
The men later convince Matt (Hoult) to act as the face of the business. While Matt admits he knows nothing about banking, Garrett and Morris take him under their wing to teach him everything he needs to know, including how “to talk to rich white folks like you’re one of them” and how to golf.
“The whole country’s talking about how two negroes managed to back two banks full of white folks’ money and loan it to other negroes,” says Morris as a montage of clips shows the men successfully pulling off their plan.
The FBI eventually begins to investigate Morris and Garrett, which creates more problems for the growing business.
The Banker will be in theaters on Dec. 6 before it debuts on Apple TV+ in January. Watch the full trailer above.
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Tokyo Film Festival