If the third time is the charm, then what about the fourth? We shall find out as director Ryan Coogler and actor Michael B. Jordan appear set to re-team for the fourth time with the forthcoming drama Wrong Answer. The project, centering on a standardized-testing educational scandal, is being developed over at New Regency and Plan B and appears to be moving forward with Ta-Nehisi Coates penning the screenplay. New Regency (headed by Arnon Milchan, Oscar-nominated for producing The Revenant) will finance with Plan B’s Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner producing the title.
Wrong Answer comes based on Rachel Aviv’s The New Yorker article, published in 2014. The film will center on Damany Lewis, a math teacher at the Atlanta-adjacent Parks Middle School. As was reported, Lewis got swept up in a scandal centered around the No Child Left Behind initiative, a policy that attempted to deliver high nation-wide test scores among students. The story moved towards the scandalous as Lewis took part in a cheating effort to improve test scores, combating the under-privileged dynamics at play at Parks Middle School. Lewis, in those efforts, became a part of the largest-scale academic cheating scandal in American history, one which saw eleven educators implicated – and convicted – of racketeering. Aviv and Lewis will serve as consultants on the project.
Coogler and Jordan previously collaborated on the 2013 indie hit Fruitvale Station, another film based on true events. That feature, which won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, served as breakouts for both. They followed course with the critically admired box office hit Creed, a re-boot of sorts of the venerable Rocky franchise; Sylvester Stallone earned an Oscar nomination for his performance in that feature and picked up a Golden Globe. Early next year, both Coogler and Jordan re-team for Marvel’s Black Panther, where Jordan will play Erik Killmonger against Chadwick Boseman’s title superhero; that film is currently in post-production and is heading to theaters on February 16, 2018.
Coincidentally, Coates, a heralded writer and journalist, writes for the Black Panther comic book series for Marvel Comics. He has also written for various publications, including The Atlantic and Village Voice throughout the years. A Pulitzer Prize finalist, Coates was also previously the recipient of the coveted MacArthur Foundation Genius Fellowship and is a National Book Award winner.
Jordan will next film the HBO movie Fahrenheit 451, an adaptation of the classic novel by Ray Bradbury, a project he will star in alongside Michael Shannon and Kingsman: The Secret Service breakout Sofia Boutella. He is also attached to star in Just Mercy for Short Term 12 director Destin Daniel Cretton.
We shall stay tuned with the latest involving Wrong Answer.