Stephan James to Star in ‘Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace’ for Fuqua Films (EXCLUSIVE)

“If Beale Street Could Talk’s” Stephan James and Chiwetel Ejiofor are set to star in the adaptation of “The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace” with Antoine Fuqua on board to produce.

Ejiofor will also direct the pic with Fuqua and Rebecca Hobbs producing for Fuqua Films, along with Kat Samick and Andrea Calderwood. Jeffrey Soros and Simon Horsman will produce on behalf of Los Angeles Media Fund, which is co-financing the film.

Based on Jeff Hobbs’ bestselling novel “The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League,” the story follows Robert Peace, who dreamed of making his single mother proud by escaping his crime-ridden city. He defied the odds and attended Yale on a full scholarship. He was captain of the water polo team, and graduated with honors in molecular biochemistry and biophysics. All this promise and potential was dashed when he was gunned down at age 30 by rival drug dealers just blocks from where he grew up. The drama tells the story of his struggle and tragic murder.

James will play Peace and Ejiofor will portray his father. Sources say Fuqua was eager to work with James again after executive producing his Quibi series #Freerayshawn.

James has been on the rise following his critically acclaimed starring role in Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk.” He followed that up with a Golden Globe nomination for Amazon’s “Homecoming” opposite Julia Roberts, and is reprising the role in the upcoming second season. James was also recently seen in the STX action drama “21 Bridges.” He is repped CAA, manager Norbert Abrams of Noble Caplan Abrams, Viewpoint and attorney Jeff Bernstein of Jackoway Tyerman.

Ejiofor just finished working with Fuqua on the Paramount action thriller “Infinite,” which bows this summer. He can next be seen in Netflix’s “The Old Guard.” Ejiofor is repped by CAA and Casarotto Ramsay & Associates.

Fuqua, who is also repped by CAA, is currently in post-production on “Infinite.”

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