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Netflix has picked up the right to another festival indie — the Jennifer Hudson and Kelvin Harrison Jr.-starrer Monster.
Monster, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, is the feature debut for music video and commercial director Anthony Mandler.
The all-star cast includes Jeffrey Wright, Emmy winner Jharrel Jerome, Jennifer Ehle and Tim Blake Nelson. Nasir “Nas” Jones, John David Washington, and Rakim Mayers — known as the rapper A$AP Rocky — also star.
The screenplay is based on the New York Times bestseller of the same name and was adapted by Colen C. Wiley, Janece Shaffer and Radha Blank, the latter of which sold her 2020 Sundance feature The Forty-Year-Old Version to the streamer.
The story follows a 17-year-old honor student (Harrison) from Harlem whose world comes crashing down around him when he is charged with felony murder.
BRON Studios, ToniK Productions and Get Lifted Film Co. are behind the movie, in association with Charlevoix, Red Crown and Creative Wealth Media. Tonya Lewis Lee, Nikki Silver, Aaron L. Gilbert, Mike Jackson, and Edward Tyler Nahem produced.
John Legend, Ty Stiklorius, Dan Crown, Yoni Liebling, Wright and Jones, executive produced, along with Brenda Gilbert, Steven Thibault, Brad Feinstein, Joseph F. Ingrassia, Ali Jazayeri, David Gendron, Linnea Roberts, Jason Cloth, and Richard McConnell.
“We at ToniK are thrilled to have brought Walter Dean Myers’ National Book Award and Michael L. Printz award-winning work to screen and are so pleased to partner once again with Netflix to showcase this important story to the world,” said Lee.
Added Mandler: “Netflix has time and time again stood behind films with a strong social message. Helping to curate an audience and create content that is both entertaining as well as thought-provoking. I’ve always seen my film as a medium of and for change. I couldn’t think of a better platform for Monster.”
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