Jessie T. Usher, Michael Harney, Colm Meaney and Paul Ben-Victor are joining Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, Nia Long and Nicholas Hoult in The Banker.
The film, directed by George Nolfi and written by Nolfi and Niceole Levy, is inspired by a true story.
According to Deadline, Black real estate entrepreneurs Joe Morris and Bernard Garrett (Jackson and Mackie, respectively) hire Matt Steiner (Hoult), described as a “working-class white man,” to appear to be the head of their business while Garrett and Morris pose as a chauffeur and janitor. While Steiner gives the appearance of a rich white businessman, Garrett and Morris are the ones who are nouveau riche, becoming two of the biggest real estate owners in America. But, as the description states, “their success brings about an unforeseen risk of exposure that threatens everything.”
The film is already in production in Atlanta and produced by Nolfi, Mackie, Nnamdi Asomugha, Jonathan Baker, Joel Viertel and Romulus Entertainment’s Brad Feinstein. Romulus Entertainment is also financing the film.
The film seems like it is another sign of a mini-trend in cinema today when it comes to stories about the civil rights movement era. Just like with Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, The Banker showcases another story based on real events of Black people utilizing the white supremacist system for their gain. Some could consider this an evolution of the “white savior” trope since these films also make sure that there is a “good white character” for mainstream audiences. But these films also bring a new twist to civil rights films by injecting them with a new type of relatability and, in some cases, a little humor amid the tragedy.
Ironically, Usher and Jackson will also appear together in next year’s Shaft film.