- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Flipboard
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Tumblr
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
Insecure showrunner Prentice Penny, LeBron James’ SpringHill and Universal are teaming up to bring Jerry Craft’s beloved graphic novel New Kid to the big screen.
New Kid, a New York Times best-seller and Newbery Medal winner, follows Jordan Banks, who experiences culture shock as one of the few kids of color when his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school. Penny will direct the adaptation from a script by Eli Wilson Pelton, who worked with Penny on Insecure.
The project is particularly notable given that New Kid has been among a series of books banned from school libraries. Last fall, a Texas school district temporarily banned New Kid and another Craft book, Class Act, after a white parent complained that the former espoused tenets of critical race theory. (The school district near Houston later returned the books into circulation.)
“Books aimed at kids like me seemed to deal only with history or misery. That’s why it has always been important to me to show kids of color as just regular kids, and to create iconic African American characters like Jordan Banks from New Kid,” Craft offered in a statement around that time.
Universal Pictures acquired the rights to New Kid in 2020 as part of its first-look deal with The SpringHill Company, which had initially optioned the novel in 2019. James and Maverick Carter are set to produce via SpringHill, with Jamal Henderson, Spencer Beighley and Craft executive producing. Penny and Chris Pollack will executive produce via their A Penny for Your Thoughts banner.
Penny, who made his feature directorial debut with Netflix’s Uncorked, is represented by WME, Blue Marble Management and Hansen Jacobson.
Pelton, who is currently a producer on the Netflix series Bridgerton, is repped by UTA, 3 Arts and Hansen Jacobson. His previous writing credits include High Fidelity and Insecure, as well as a co-producer credit on the Amazon series With Love.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day
More from The Hollywood Reporter
‘The Buriti Flower’ Review: Indigenous History Unfolds in a Striking Mix of Nonfiction and Drama
Arnold Schwarzenegger on Bruce Willis’ Retirement: Action Stars “Never Really Retire…They Reload”
The Little Mermaid
China Box Office: ‘Fast X’ Roars Past $100M, ‘The Little Mermaid’ Struggles to Stay Afloat
The Little Mermaid
‘The Wiz’ Star Stephanie Mills Relates Her Own Experience to Racist Backlash Toward ‘Little Mermaid”s Halle Bailey