Academy Award nominee Laurence Fishburne and Primetime Emmy nominee Clifton Collins Jr. will be starring in the upcoming prison drama Frank & Louis with Participant, Zodiac Pictures, and Tyler Perry’s Peachtree & Vine Productions set to produce.
Set to be directed by Swiss-Italian director Petra Volpe, the film is centered around a prisoner serving a life sentence (Collins Jr.) who takes on an in-prison job that has him caring for aging and infirm prisoners suffering from diseases that induce memory loss. This job will allow him to meet the character played by Fishburne. What began as an attempt to meet parole requirements, becomes an impacting and transformative work that offers a glimmer of redemption.
The script was written by Volpe and German screenwriter Esther Bernstorff. Participant, which was founded in 2004 and has the aim of aiding in the production of features with socially relevant themes, is producing along with Reto Schaerli and Lukas Hobi of Zodiac Pictures, and Perry and Tim Palen of Peachtree & Vine Productions. Participant’s founder Jeff Skoll and Executive Vice President Anikah McLaren are serving as executive producers with Cora Olson as co-producer.
According to Deadline, Volpe made a statement saying:
“To work with Laurence Fishburne and Clifton Collins Jr. on this intimate and emotional story is an absolute dream come true. I feel a deep gratitude towards the incarcerated men I met while researching this project, and I can’t wait to bring this touching and timely story to audiences. Hopefully this film will contribute to an important conversation about aging, mental health and the prison system.”
David Linde, Participant’s current CEO also said: “It is amazing to see this project grow, Tyler Perry joining this incredible team, combining with Petra, Clifton and Laurence, brings such a uniquely creative dynamic to a powerful story that showcases how shared compassion makes for a unifying, exhilarating experience.”
Perry added: “I have long been a fan of Participant, and the company’s commitment to storytelling that inspires social change. As an advocate for prison reform, the story of Frank & Louis and its powerful themes resonated with me, and I’m excited to be part of the creative team bringing this story to life.”
Frank & Louis marks Fishburne’s second collaboration with Participant after the 2011 movie Contagion. The actor is best known for his role as Morpheus in The Matrix franchise. Collins Jr. was recently awarded the Sundance Jury Award for his role in Clint Bentley’s Jockey. His other credits include Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Capote, and Nightmare Alley.
Frank & Louis does not yet have a release date.