Helmer penned project; Johnson to exec produce

HOLLYWOOD — Fox Searchlight is looking to score with “Feeling Aretha,” tapping Rick Famuyiwa to helm the comedy-drama.

Project, penned by Famuyiwa, centers on a father-son relationship set in the world of college basketball coaching. Peter Heller is the producer, while Todd Boyd shares story credit and acts as a co-producer; Magic Johnson is expected to be exec producer.

Exec VP of production Claudia Lewis will oversee the film for Fox Searchlight, which previously hired Famuyiwa to direct and co-write “Brown Sugar,” with Mike Elliott. Film, a romantic comedy produced by Heller and exec produced by Johnson, will be released Oct. 11, and co-stars Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan, Mos Def, Nicole Ari Parker, Boris Kodjoe and Queen Latifah.

Previous credits for Famuyiwa include scripting “The Fighting Temptations” and writing and directing “The Wood,” both from Paramount and MTV Films.

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