Tom Shadyac to Direct Wrongful Imprisonment Film 'Brian Banks'

Brian Banks and Tom Shadyac - Inset - Getty - H 2017
Kevin C. Cox (Banks), Amanda Edwards/WireImage (Shadyac), both Getty Images

The project centers on a promising high-school football player who was falsely accused of rape and ultimately exonerated.

Tom Shadyac is set to direct Brian Banks, a drama recounting the true story of the wrongful imprisonment and exoneration of the one-time high school football prodigy.

Shadyac will helm the film from a script by Doug Atchison. The project was originally incubated through Amy Baer’s development fund Gidden Media, and Baer will produce alongside ShivHans Pictures’ Shivani Rawat and Monica Levinson. Banks, Atchison, Justin Brooks and Neal Strum are executive producers. Production is set to begin later this summer.

Brian Banks centers on the titular high-school football player who was committed to USC by his junior year. His life was upended in 2002 when falsely accused of rape. Despite maintaining his innocence, he was railroaded through the system and sentenced to a decade of prison and parole. With the help of the California Innocence Project, his conviction was overturned in 2012 and he achieved his NFL dream with the Atlanta Falcons’ pre-season squad in 2013.

The project is Shadyac's first directorial project since Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty, released in 2003 and 2007, respectively. "Living and teaching in Memphis for the past four years has given me an intimate look at the injustice people of color face every day," Shadyac said in a statement. "Brian's inspiring story is not only emblematic of that injustice, but a clarion call against a judicial system in urgent need of reform. It’s a story I had to tell."

Added Banks, "It's an honor to have such an amazing group of people to work with towards bringing my story to the big screen. Tom Shadyac is a good man with an amazing life-altering story of his own. He'll get the job done.”

Shadyac is repped by Paradigm. Atchison is repped by Fourth Wall Management and the Pitt Group.