Coming-of-age film Brother has been announced with Lamar Johnson (The Hate U Give), Aaron Pierre (The Underground Railroad), Marsha Stephanie Blake (When They See Us), and Kiana Madeira (Fear Street) starring. Filming in and around Toronto and Scarborough is currently underway. The film will debut in 2022.
The film is written and directed by Clement Virgo and based on David Chariandy’s eponymous novel. The film will be produced by Virgo and Damon D’Oliveira’s Conquering Lion Pictures and Aeschylus Poulos and Sonya Di Rienzo’s Hawkeye Pictures. Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert and Steven Thibault will executive produce with Laurie May and Noah Segal from Elevation Pictures.
The film will focus on two brothers growing up Toronto’s Caribbean community as a mystery envelopes them. According to the official description:
Propelled by the pulsing beats of Toronto’s early hip hop scene, BROTHER is the story of Francis and Michael, sons of Caribbean immigrants maturing into young men. Exploring themes of masculinity, identity and family, a mystery unfolds during the sweltering summer of 1991, and escalating tensions set off a series of events that change the course of the brothers’ lives forever. BROTHER crafts a timely story about the profound bond between siblings, the resilience of a community and the irrepressible power of music.
“I feel a deeply personal connection to David Chariandy’s novel, Brother, and the characters who populate that world,” said Virgo in a statement. “Lamar Johnson, Aaron Pierre, Marsha Stephanie Blake, and Kiana Madeira are the ideal cast to convey the essence of each of these characters and bring out their internal lives to share with audiences.”
“Clement Virgo, one of Canada’s foremost auteur directors, has a profound resonance with this material,” added D’Oliveira, Di Rienzo and Poulos. “We cannot imagine anyone better suited to translate the beauty of Chariandy’s underlying novel onto the big screen.”
May and Segal also said, “We are thrilled to be partnered with Clement, Damon, and the Hawkeye Pictures team to bring this seminal and important Canadian story to Canadian audiences. It’s a moving story of love, loss and family reflected in a community whose stories must be represented.”
Virgo’s NAACP-winning writing and directorial work includes the 2015 Canadian and BET historical miniseries The Book of Negroes starring Aunjanue Ellis. Virgo has also worked on The Wire, Billions and Empire. He will direct next for Ryan Murphy’s upcoming Netflix series, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, which will be released in 2022.