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Sterling K. Brown to Star in Fox Searchlight’s ‘The Fence’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Following his SAG nomination for actor in a drama series, Sterling K. Brown is in negotiations to star in Fox Searchlight’s biopic “The Fence,” sources tell Variety.

Peter Nicks is on board to direct. George Pelecanos and Dennis Lehane, who originally brought the book to HBO before it landed at Searchlight, teamed up to adapt the script.

Based on the book by award-winning Boston Globe journalist Dick Lehr (“Black Mass”), “The Fence” follows the true story of Michael Cox, an African-American undercover cop who is mistaken for a suspect and brutally beaten by his own force following one of the largest police chases in Boston history. As Cox seeks answers and justice for what happened, he finds himself on the other side of the “blue wall of silence” as the Boston Police Department aggressively covers it up.

Jim Kohlberg and Luke Parker Bowles of Story Mining & Supply Co. and Jeffrey Sharp of Sharp Independent are producing the project. Lehane, Pelecanos, and Siegfried Harris are executive producers.

While a production start date has not yet been officially set, it would likely happen while Brown is on hiatus from his hit NBC show “This Is Us” during the spring.

Since breaking out for his Emmy-winning role as prosecutor Chris Darden on FX’s “American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson,” Brown has been on a tear, starting with “This Is Us,” which also won him an Emmy and earned him another nomination Wednesday morning. Besides the lead actor nomination, Brown also earned noms for ensemble in a drama series with “This is Us” and best picture with “Black Panther.”

Since the start of “This Is Us,” Brown has found time to stay busy during each hiatus, as he was just seen in Marvel’s “Black Panther” and Fox’s “The Predator.”

He recently wrapped production on A24’s “Waves” and is lending his voice to “Frozen 2.” He can be seen next in Paramount’s “The Rhythm Section.”

He is repped by JWS Entertainment, Innovative Artists, and Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal Laviolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman.

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