Relativity Picks Up Kevin Costner's 'Black or White'

Courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival

Open Road was looking to acquire the racially-themed drama co-starring Octavia Spencer before talks broke down

Relativity is closing in on a deal to acquire U.S. rights to Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer's racially-themed drama Black or White, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

The film, which was originally titled Black and White, made its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 6. It is being acquired for its awards-season potential, sources say — particularly Costner and Spencer's performances.

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Open Road had been in talks to acquire the movie before negotiations broke down.

Written and directed by Mike Binder and based on a true story, Black or White centers on an attorney (Costner) who becomes embroiled in a custody battle with the paternal grandmother (Spencer) of his biracial granddaughter, whom he is raising after his wife and daughter have died. Anthony Mackie, Andre Holland, Bill Burr, Mpho Koaho, Gillian Jacobs, Jennifer Ehle and 10-year-old newcomer Jillian Estell round out the cast. Binder and Costner previously collaborated on The Upside of Anger.

Costner and Binder produced the film alongside Todd Lewis. Cassian Elwes executive produced.

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In his review in THR, Jordan Mintzer wrote that the film "creates a believable story raising questions about parenthood and racial prejudice in modern-day Los Angeles." THR's Scott Feinberg called it "one of the best movies that has already screened at the Toronto Film Festival but hasn't yet found a U.S. distributor."

IM Global is handling international sales on the film.

Hilary Lewis contributed to this report.

Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27