Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels will take the helm of “The Brian Banks Story,” based on the life of the former high school football star who had his life virtually destroyed by a terrible lie.
As profiled by “60 Minutes,” Brian Banks was a remarkable teenage football player and high school All-American who was all set to go to the University of Southern California in 2002. All of that ended when Banks was falsely accused of rape by a high school classmate. Though he always insisted he was innocent, a quick plea deal ended up with Banks going to prison for more than five years.
Thanks to the efforts of the California Innocence Project, Banks was helped to clear his name, and his conviction was overturned in 2012. He went on to return to the gridiron, after a decade-long absence, playing first in the UFL and then — after a half-dozen tryouts — being signed by the Atlanta Falcons in April, 2013. He only played four pre-season games with the Falcons, but the experience was vital to Banks — who has gone on to become a motivational speaker and spokesman for the California Innocence Project.
Before he directs this film, Daniels will next make a movie about the life of another real-life person — the late, great comedian Richard Pryor.
Daniels, who was Oscar-nominated for his “Precious” direction, also helmed “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” which was a major hit in 2013.