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Keke Palmer has found her next act.
The Hustlers star will take on the title role in the feature film Alice for Steel Springs Pictures and first-time helmer Krystin Ver Linden. Described as a character-driven thriller, the project, per the filmmakers, is “inspired by the true events of a woman of servitude in 1800s Georgia, who escapes the 55-acre confines of her captor to discover the shocking reality that exists beyond the tree line … it’s 1973.”
Palmer addressed the subject matter in a statement released along with news of her casting. “So many films that depict this time in our history are rooted in victimization of the Black female lead. This story is the opposite, and that’s what attracted me to Krystin’s perspective,” says Palmer. “It tackles the harsh realities of slavery and white supremacy while also offering inspiration and vindication through the story of Alice’s journey. I don’t want anyone to leave the theater feeling debilitated, I want them to feel empowered.”
News of her casting comes just days after Palmer received praise for her participation in a Black Lives Matter march in Los Angeles during which she had an exchange with National Guard soldiers and asked them to march alongside protesters.
As for first-time filmmaker Ver Linden, she praised Palmer as a virtuoso, calling the experience of working with her a genuine dream. ” ‘Black Power is giving power to people who have not had power to determine their destiny.’ Huey Newton’s resounding quote has been affixed on my cork board for as long as I can remember picking up a pen to write. Those words echo every creative endeavor that I’ve undergone, so when I read about the true story of a woman who escaped the confines of a self-proclaimed plantation, becomes radicalized and seeks out her oppressor … It spoke to me on a very deep, undeniable level. Keke is a force to be reckoned with. Her talent, truth, strength and depth are beyond words and measure.”
Alice will be produced by Peter Lawson (Spotlight, John Wick) alongside executive producers Jose Agustin Valdes and Luisa Fernanda Espinosa of Steel Springs Pictures. Palmer will serve as an executive producer. Steel Springs is fully financing with principal photography to begin in August in Georgia.
“Keke is a prodigious talent and the perfect choice to step into the title role of Alice,” says Lawson. “This is such an important and emotional project, and when we saw Keke’s passion and vision for this woman and her story, we knew she was the one. With Krystin at the helm, we look forward to seeing her transform into this phenomenal character and bring her riveting story to life.”
Palmer’s multifaceted career includes acting, hosting and singing. Her most recent credits include Hustlers, Pimp and the TV musical Grease Live! as well as Fox’s Scream Queens and Berlin Station for Epix. As a personality she is one of the hosts of Strahan, Sara and Keke, featured on the third hour of Good Morning America.
Palmer is represented by 3 Arts Entertainment. Lawson and Steel Springs Pictures are repped by Lichter Grossman Adler & Goodman.
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