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Tracee Ellis Ross, Erika Alexander, Sterling K. Brown, Issa Rae Join Jeffrey Wright in Cord Jefferson’s Directorial Debut for MGM’s Orion Pictures

Leslie Uggams, Myra Lucretia Taylor, John Ortiz and Adam Brody also star in the movie based on the novel 'Erasure' by Percival Everett.

Tracee Ellis Ross Erika Alexander Jeffrey Wright Sterling K. Brown Issa Rae
Ross: Kwaku Alston / Alexander: Zalo / Wright: Sandro Baebler / Brown: Irvin Rivera / Rae: Jabari Jacobs

MGM’s Orion Pictures has acquired worldwide distribution rights to Emmy-winning writer Cord Jefferson’s untitled feature directorial debut, starring Emmy winner Jeffrey Wright.

Produced by MRC and Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman’s T-Street Productions, the film is based on the novel “Erasure” by Percival Everett. Jefferson (“Watchmen,” “Maser of None”) also adapted the screenplay.

“As longtime fans of Cord, we are thrilled to be a part of his feature film debut and for the opportunity to share his vision with global audiences,” said Alana Mayo, president of Orion Pictures, in a statement announcing the acquisition. “His adaptation of Everett’s biting novel and Jeffrey’s brilliant take on the character, along with this incredibly talented cast, create a wonderful alchemy to tell this story.”

Wright (“The Batman,” “Westworld”) stars in the film as Thelonious “Monk” Ellison, an English professor and author who writes a satirical novel under a pseudonym, aiming to lay bare the hypocrisies of the publishing world. The book’s immediate success forces Monk to get deeper enmeshed in his assumed identity and challenges his closely-held worldviews.

The Tony, Emmy, AFI and Golden Globe-winning actor is surrounded by an all-star ensemble cast: including Golden Globe-winner and Emmy-nominee Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ish,” “Girlfriends”) in the role of Lisa; Erika Alexander (“Get Out,” “Shining Girls”), who will play Coraline; Tony-winner and Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominee Leslie Uggams (“Deadpool,” “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”) as Agnes; three-time Emmy-winner Sterling K. Brown (“Black Panther,” “This Is Us”) as Cliff; Tony-nominee Myra Lucretia Taylor (“The Big Sick,” “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical”) as Lorraine; John Ortiz (“Silver Linings Playbook,” “The Promised Land”) as Arthur; Peabody-winner and Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominee Issa Rae (“Insecure”) in the role of Sintara; and Adam Brody (“Shazam!,” “Single Parents”) as Wiley.

The film, which recently wrapped production in Boston, is produced by T-Street’s Ben LeClair and Nikos Karamigios, Jermaine Johnson of 3Arts and Jefferson.

Ross and Rae are represented by UTA and the law firm of Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren Richman Rush Kaller Gellman Meigs & Fox. Ross is repped by Artists First and ID; Rae is also repped by 3Arts Entertainment and AM PR Group. Brody is represented by UTA. 

Alexander is represented by Greene & Associates Talent Agency, Untitled Entertainment, and the law firm of Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein. Brown is represented by JWS Entertainment, CAA, Jill Fritzo PR and the law firm of Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole. Uggams is represented by BRS/Gage Talent Agency. Taylor is represented by BRS/Gage Talent Agency. Ortiz is repped by The Gersh Agency, Principal Entertainment LA and the law firm of Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham.

(Pictured above: Tracee Ellis Ross, Erika Alexander, Jeffrey Wright, Sterling K. Brown and Issa Rae)

Leslie Uggams, Myra Lucretia Taylor, John Ortiz and Adam Brody