Jodie Foster will direct and likely star in “Sugar Kings,” the Tribeca Films-produced drama for Universal Pictures.
“Sugar” is about a young lawyer who teams with a veteran public-interest attorney to take on powerful sugar barons who are exploiting cane-cutting migrant workers.
Pic, scripted by Ned Zeman and Daniel Barnz, will be produced by Jane Rosenthal, who partners in Tribeca with Robert De Niro.
Pic was hatched by Tribeca in 2001 when U bought the rights to Marie Brenner’s Vanity Fair investigative article “In the Kingdom of Big Sugar.”
The article focuses on Alfy and Pepe Fanjul, who owned a sugar-manufacturing empire in Florida. The magnates were hounded by attorney Edward Tuddenham, who charged the brothers treated 20,000 sugar-cane cutters like slave labor, hiding behind their well-developed political connections and social standing.
The article by Brenner, who also penned the piece that spurred the Michael Mann pic “The Insider,” served as a jumping-off point for “Sugar Kings.”
After a quiet period, Foster has been prolific of late. She will next be seen in “Flight Plan” and has been starring for Universal and Imagine alongside Denzel Washington and Clive Owen in the Spike Lee-directed heist drama “The Inside Man.”
U production prexy Donna Langley and senior veep Holly Bario will oversee the pic.