Rising US director Faraday Okoro has signed to direct legal drama Prelude To A Crime, about a police officer on trial for the shooting of an unarmed black man. The project is from Andrew Lauren Productions (ALP), the New York and LA-based company behind Claire Denis’ High Life and Brady Corbet’s Vox Lux.
Prelude To A Crime will be Okoro’s second feature following his debut Nigerian Prince in 2018. ALP has developed the project from a script by newcomer Dillon Michael White, which follows a jury deliberating over the facts and implications of the case of the shooting of an unarmed black man by a police officer.
“I’ve always wondered what happens behind-the-scenes in court cases like these, and exploring the problems facing [the US] criminal justice system is more important than ever,” said Okoro.
Andrew Lauren (son of designer Ralph Lauren) and D.J. Gugenheim will produce for ALP, with Oliver Monday as executive producer.
“Cases like these have sadly become increasingly common and really entered the national consciousness, unfortunately with outcomes that often only reinforce the tragedy,” said producers Lauren and Gugenheim.
The company’s recent High Life, starring Robert Pattinson, premiered at Toronto last year and was picked up for North America by A24. Vox Lux, starring Natalie Portman, premiered at Venice last year and was bought for North America by Neon.
ALP is also reteaming with director Brady Corbet on his next feature The Brutalist, an epic drama spanning 30 years in the life of a Hungarian-born Jewish architect who emigrates to the US.
Okoro’s debut film, Nigerian Prince, was a drama about a Nigerian-American teenager who joins forces with an internet scammer in order to return to the US, and was executive produced by Spike Lee. It was funded by a $1m grant via the Tribeca Film Institute and AT&T and premiered at the Tribeca festival last year, after which it was picked up for US distribution by Vertical Entertainment.