*Oscar winner Octavia Spencer and “Friday Night Lights” vet Michael B. Jordan are in negotiations to star in “Fruitvale,” a timely indie drama based on the young black man who was shot in the back and killed by Bay Area Transit Authority police on New Year’s Day 2009.
Produced by Forest Whitaker and his Significant Productions partner Nina Yang, “Fruitvale” tells the story of Oscar Grant, whose shooting was captured by numerous cell phone cameras. The film will also depict the ensuing trial and its verdict causing protests and riots. Fruitvale is the name of the station where the event took place.
If deals go through, Jordan will play Grant, the 22-year old man who crosses paths with friends and enemies, family and strangers on his last day. Spencer would play his tough and protective mother.
The project is coming together amid the controversy surrounding the death in February of Trayvon Martin, a young black Florida teen who was shot and killed by a local neighborhood watch officer.
A July production start in northern California is being eyed for Fruitvale.
Spencer, who won this year’s best supporting actress Oscar for her work in “The Help,” is currently filming Diablo Cody’s untitled directorial debut that stars Russell Brand and Julianne Hough, where she plays a blackjack-dealing hipster lounge singer. From there she goes to the sci-fi movie “Snowpiercer,” then to “Smashed,” in which she will play a recovering alcoholic.
Apart from “Friday Night Lights,” appeared on NBC’s “Parenthood” and co-starred in the George Lucas-produced World War I aerial war movie “Red Tails.” He’s currently reteaming with “Friday Night Lights” producer Jason Katims for the NBC pilot “County.”