Shots Fired star Sanaa Lathan is set to topline NAPPILY EVER AFTER, a new Netflix movie that will be directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour (Wadjda), the Tracking Board has learned.
Based on the book by Trish R. Thomas, Nappily Ever After follows Violent Johnson (Lathan), who has a seemingly flawless life — a great job, a handsome doctor boyfriend, and a meticulously maintained perfect coiffure. But after an accident at the hair-dresser, each of these things start to unravel, and Violet begins to realize that she was living the life she thought she was supposed to live, not the one that she really wanted.
Violet starts to put the pieces back together with a little help from a soulful barber and his young daughter. She finds the courage to cast off some of the things that she didn’t really need, starting with her perfectly straightened hair, and find a life that has real meaning.
Ernie Hudson will co-star as Lathan’s father, an aspiring mature male model.
Tina Chism wrote the screenplay, with later drafts contributed by Lisa Loomer, Adam Brooks, Silver and Black director Gina Prince-Bythewood. The project actually doubles as a reunion of sorts between Lathan and Prince-Bythewood, who previously worked together on Love & Basketball.
Lathan will produce with Marc Platt, Jared Leboff and Tracey Bing, for whom this project has been a labor of love. She developed Nappily Ever After for 15 years before bringing the film to Netflix.
Benedict Carver will executive produce alongside Vincent Cirrincione and Mark Moran. Production will begin later this month in Atlanta.
Netflix is fully financing the project, which is a continuation of the streaming service’s global film strategy of working directly with independent filmmakers and producers. Netflix will distribute Nappily Ever After to its 104 million customers worldwide sometime in 2018.
Lathan recently appeared in Now You See Me 2, and she next stars opposite Dylan O’Brien in American Assassin. She’s represented by ICM Partners.
Al-Mansour’s next movie, Mary Shelley, stars Elle Fanning as the “Frankenstein” author, and will premiere next month at the Toronto International Film Festival. She’s repped by UTA, Anonymous Content and Loeb & Loeb.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief