Nick Nolte has inked a deal to star in “The Best of Enemies,” the sophomore film from Mississippi-based Gregory Prods., the indie company that financed and produced “The Spitfire Grill.”
Pic is based on the nonfiction book by Osha Gray Davidson, published last year by Simon & Schuster.
Roger Courts, Gregg Homer and Jonathan Dana will produce along with Nolte’s Kingsgate Films. Nolte will exec-produce, and Kingsgate execs Greg Shapiro and Joel Lubin will serve as co-producers.
The story takes place in North Carolina during the segregated 1960s and tells of the friendship between C.P. Ellis, a poor white man who was the local leader of the Durham Ku Klux Klan, and Ann Atwater, a black domestic servant with a talent for political leadership.
Pitted against each other on opposite sides of explosive racial and community issues, Ellis and Atwater overcome their fear and hatred to become lifelong friends.
“Following ‘The Spitfire Grill,’ we wanted to do a totally different kind of project, but one which still espoused the life-affirming values for which Gregory Prods. stands,” company topper Courts said.
Nolte recently finished “U-Turn,” helmed by Oliver Stone. He will next star in “Affliction,” the adaptation of the Russell Banks book to be directed by Paul Schrader.
Nolte’s deal was brokered by CAA, which also negotiated the deal for the book and associated life rights with the Alison Picard Literary agency.