Digital multicast channel Bounce has enlisted “The Wire” star Wendell Pierce and Lauren Holly to lead the original thriller “Don’t Hang Up,” which is set to premiere in the spring. The movie is in production in Toronto.
David Hudson, who oversees Bounce as head of original programming for Scripps National Networks, called the project “the next step in our plan to take Bounce original productions to the next level.” Pierce was a regular on the acclaimed HBO drama “The Wire” from 2002 to 2008. He’s been steadily in demand as an actor in TV, movies and stage
The thriller, directed by J.B. Sugar and written by Byl Carruthers, follows Chris Daniels (Pierce), a man who receives a call that his daughter (Eden Cupid) has been kidnapped and taken hostage. The kidnappers demand that he completes a series of different missions to get her back, including one crucial direction to not hang up the phone. Holly plays Chris’ wife Tracy, who unwittingly puts their daughter in further danger when her calls and texts to Chris go unanswered and she decides to involve the police.
“We are elated to have Wendell Pierce and Lauren Holly in the starring roles of ‘Don’t Hang Up,’” said Hudson, head of original programming at Scripps Networks. “We are elevating our original programming with superlative artists in unique, high-quality, high-octane stories. … We want to be bolder and tell stories not being told anywhere else.”
Bounce targets Black viewers with a mix of acquired content and original movies and series. The channel debuted in 2011 as a programming service offered syndication-style to local broadcast TV stations that gained extra channel bandwidth after the 2009 transition to all digital broadcasting. E.W. Scripps Co., one of the nation’s largest TV station owners, acquired Bounce and its Katz Broadcasting parent company in 2017.
“As an actor, I always look for opportunities to do good work with good material. ‘Don’t Hang Up’ is a film that meets this standard,” said Pierce. “I’ve always wanted to do a thriller, where an ordinary man is thrown into an extraordinary situation. Based on a true story, it’s evidence that sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.”
Holly is a TV veteran known for her series regular roles in CBS’ “NCIS” and ABC/Netflix’s “Designated Survivor.”
“Don’t Hang Up” is produced by Sugar and Ella Myers for No Equal Entertainment.
(Pictured: Wendell Pierce and Lauren Holly)