Antoine Fuqua to Direct 'The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace' (Exclusive)

Antoine Fuqua - H 2014
AP Images/Invision

Antoine Fuqua - H 2014

IM Global optioned Jeff Hobbs' book for Fuqua Films

Just a couple weeks after his latest film, The Equalizer, had a strong debut in theaters, Antoine Fuqua has acquired another project.

IM Global has optioned the book The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League by Jeff Hobbs, and attached Fuqua as the director. Fuqua Films will produce with Rebecca Hobbs; IM Global’s Matt Jackson also is producing, with Stuart Ford executive producing.

The true story centers on Peace, a young African-American man who left the crime-ridden streets of Newark to attend Yale. There, he studied molecular biochemistry and biophysics and excelled at school, but the troubles from his upbringing continued to plague him until his violent and all-too-soon end. Hobbs was his college roommate and friend.

Hobbs' book hit shelves Sept. 23 via Scribner. He previously wrote the 2008 novel The Tourists.

Sources say Hobbs' book was creating a lot of buzz, with several producers eager to scoop up the film rights. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace will be the first project to come out of the recently announced production deal between IM Global and Fuqua Films. The deal was negotiated by Ford and Deborah Zipser on behalf of IM Global, with CAA on behalf of Fuqua Film and Hobbs. The latter is represented by David Black for publishing and manager Russell Hollander. He and Rebecca Hobbs are represented by attorney Kimberly Stenton at Myman Greenspan.

The Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington, hit theaters in late September and had a strong performance at the box office, earning $34.1 million in its domestic debut. Fuqua previously directed Olympus Has Fallen, and is on post on his next film, Southpaw, starring Rachel McAdams and Jake Gyllenhaal. He is repped by CAA and Ziffren Brittenham.

Twitter: @Beccamford