Keke Palmer

Source: Steel Springs Pictures

Keke Palmer

Steel Springs Pictures announced on Thursday (June 11) that that Hustlers star Keke Palmer will play the lead in thriller Alice, which is scheduled to begin principal photography in late summer.

Producer and Steel Springs founder Peter Lawson (executive producer on Spotlight and John Wick) has earmarked an August start of principal photography in Georgia on the story of a slave in 1800s Georgia who escapes the 55-acre lot of her captor to discover it is actually 1973.

Executive producers are Jose Agustin Valdes and Luisa Fernanda Espinosa of Steel Springs Pictures, and Palmer.

Steel Springs is fully financing Alice and writer-director Krystin Ver Linden makes her feature directorial debut.

“So many films that depict this time in our history are rooted in victimisation of the black female lead,” said Palmer. “This story is the opposite and that’s what attracted me to Krystin’s perspective. 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 theatre feeling debilitated, I want them to feel empowered.”

While Ver Linden said, “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 corkboard for as long as I can remember picking up a pen to write. Those words echo every creative endeavour 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.”

Lawson, the former production head at Thunder Road, Thunder Road and Miramax, hailed Alice as “important and emotional”.