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California Pictures backs ‘Storm’

Wendell Pierce to star in Cole Wiley's drama

California Pictures has come onboard to produce and package “After the Storm,” a drama from writer-director Cole Wiley that has Wendell Pierce (“The Wire”) attached to star.

The story of a fateful journey of survival follows a young boy who must overcome the loss of his home and family to the destructive wrath of Hurricane Katrina.

Pierce will play the boyfriend of the child’s mother who, many years later, loans her the money she needs to move her family back to the Ninth Ward, which is again threatened by a massive storm.

Jason Leibovitch and Steven Istock will produce for California Pictures, while Wiley will produce through his Hey Good Images banner along with Mollye Asher and Christian McGuigan. Production is expected to start this summer in New Orleans.

Wiley’s script won the 2011 Urbanworld Screenplay Competition sponsored by BET and HBO, and also won the 2011 Spike Lee Production Fund Award. Although Lee is not an official producer, he has championed the project and been instrumental in pushing it forward.

Wiley graduated from Harvard Law School but decided against being a lawyer and instead enrolled in NYU’s film program, of which Lee is an alumnus. “After the Storm” is Wiley’s thesis project.

California Pictures recently produced the indie drama “A Warrior’s Heart,” which stars “Twilight” thesps Ashley Greene and Kellan Lutz. Company’s next release is the sci-fier “Scavengers,” starring Sean Patrick Flanery and Jeremy London.

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