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Kelvin Harrison, Jr. (“The Birth of a Nation”) and Jennifer Hudson are starring in the independent drama “Monster,” which is starting production this week in New York City.

Bron Studios has joined forces with Tonik Productions and Get Lifted Film Co. to co-produce and finance. The cast includes Jennifer Ehle, A$AP Rocky, Nas, Tim Blake Nelson, John David Washington, Mikey Madison and Jeffrey Wright.

The film is produced in association with Charlevoix, Red Crown and Creative Wealth Media. “Monster” marks the feature debut of commercial-music video director Anthony Mandler, directing from a script by Colen C. Wiley and Janece Shaffer, based on the novel by Walter Dean Myers.

Harrison will portray 17-year-old honors student and aspiring filmmaker Steve Harmon, charged with felony murder for a crime he says he did not commit. The film follows his journey from a smart, likeable young man from Harlem attending an elite high school through a complex legal battle that could leave him spending the rest of his life in prison.

Producers are Bron Studios’ Aaron L. Gilbert; Tonik Productions’ Nikki Silver and Tonya Lewis Lee; Mike Jackson of Get Lifted Film Co and Charlevoix’s Edward Nahem.

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Executive producers include Nas, Red Crown’s Daniel Crown and Yoni Liebling, Creative Wealth’s Jason Cloth and Richard McConnell, Linnea Roberts and Get Lifted Film Co’s John Legend. Legend and Nas will both play a role in the film’s music.

“Monster” is represented by WME Global.