More From John Legend: Film Adaptation of 'Monster' w/ Jennifer Hudson, A$AP Rocky, Nas, More

April 20th 2017

Harper Collins Harper Collins graphic novel adaptation

John Legend continues to make his presence felt in the film and TV biz; from the historically-significant and culturally relevant "Underground" and upcoming Black Wall Street project also set up at WGN, Mr Legend may eventually do down in history as just that.

Announced today, his Get Lifted Film company has teamed up with Bron Studios and Tonik Productions (Tonya Lewis Lee's production shingle) to co-produce and finance a film adaptation of late author Walter Dean Myers' 1999 novel "Monster," a young-adult drama that was nominated for the 1999 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, and uses a mixture of a third-person screenplay and a first-person diary format to tell, through the perspective of Steve Harmon (an African American teenager), the story of his trial for felony murder in the state of New York.

From Amazon's review of the New York Times bestselling novel: "Monster" is what the prosecutor called 16-year-old Steve Harmon for his supposed role in the fatal shooting of a convenience-store owner. But was Steve really the lookout who gave the "all clear" to the murderer, or was he just in the wrong place at the wrong time? In this innovative novel by Walter Dean Myers, the reader becomes both juror and witness during the trial of Steve's life. To calm his nerves as he sits in the courtroom, aspiring filmmaker Steve chronicles the proceedings in movie script format. Interspersed throughout his screenplay are journal writings that provide insight into Steve's life before the murder and his feelings about being held in prison during the trial.

Legend's film adaptation of the novel has tapped Jennifer Hudson, A$AP Rocky, Nas (who will also executive produce), and Kelvin Harrison Jr. to star in the film, along with John David Washington, Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Ehle and Tim Blake Nelson in supporting roles.

Anthony Mandler is directing - his feature directorial debut - from a script penned by Colen C. Wiley and Janece Shaffer.

Principal photography is set to begin this week in New York City.

WME Global will rep the film.

By the way, the above cover is for a graphic novel adaptation of the original novel. You can pick up a copy of the novel here.

by Shadow and Act on April 20th 2017

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