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Tom Shadyac to Direct ‘Brian Banks’ Biopic for ShivHans Pictures

Variety logo Variety 4/28/2017 Justin Kroll
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Producer and film financier Shivani Rawat and her production company ShivHans Pictures have acquired the rights to the project “Brian Banks” and have attached “Bruce Almighty” director Tom Shadyac to helm.

“Banks” tells the real-life story of Brian Banks, an all-American high-school football player committed to USC by his junior year whose life was upended in 2002 when falsely accused of rape. Despite furiously maintaining his innocence, Brian was nonetheless railroaded through the system and sentenced to a decade of prison and parole. Ultimately, with the help of the California Innocence Project, Banks’ conviction was overturned in 2012 and he ultimately achieved his NFL dream with the Atlanta Falcons’ pre-season squad in 2013.

“After meeting Brian and hearing his story, I felt compelled to make this movie,” Rawat said. “I’m committed to stories about social justice, which is why this project resonated with me. Tom’s life journey the past several years makes him an inspired choice to tell this story, and we’re so glad to have him on the team.”

Doug Atchison will pen the script.

The project was originally incubated through Amy Baer’s development fund Gidden Media and Baer will produce alongside Rawat and Monica Levinson. Banks, Atchison, Justin Brooks, and Neal Strum are executive producers.

“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. “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.”

Some of ShivHans Pictures recent credits include “Trumbo” and “Captain Fantastic,” both of which earned Oscar nominations for their leading men and this film hopes to have similar success.

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

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