Chiwetel Ejiofor’s ‘Rob Peace’ Acquired By Republic Pictures

EXCLUSIVE: Republic Pictures has acquired North American rights to Rob Peace, the sophomore feature from actor-turned-filmmaker Chiwetel Ejiofor (The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind), in which he stars opposite Jay Will, 2x Academy Award nominee Mary J. Blige and Camila Cabello.

World premiering to solid reviews at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the film will be released in 500 theaters on August 2.

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Written and directed by Ejiofor, Rob Peace is based on a bestselling work of non-fiction by Jeff Hobbs. The film tells the story of Robert Peace (Will), who  grew up in an impoverished section of Newark and later graduated from Yale on scholarship. Peace led a dual life in academia, earning degrees in molecular biophysics and biochemistry while also selling marijuana to aid his father who he believed was unjustly imprisoned for murder.

Pic’s producers are Antoine Fuqua, Rebecca Hobbs, Kat Samick, Andrea Calderwood, Jeffrey Soros, Alex Kurtzman, Jenny Lumet and Simon Horsman. Blige executive produced alongside Morgan Earnest, Luke Rodgers, Jeff Skoll, Robert Kessel, Bruce Evans and Jamin O’Brien, with Curt Morlaye, Caleb Eberhardt, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Michael Kelly and Mare Winningham rounding out the cast.

In addition to starring and exec producing, Blige wrote and performed the film’s original song, “Smile.”

Stated Ejiofor, “I’m thrilled to partner with Republic Pictures in bringing this extraordinary story to audiences. Jeff Hobbs’ powerful book on Rob’s life fused together essential thoughts for me on race, housing, education, criminal justice, family and community. I can’t wait for audiences to experience Rob’s truly compelling life onscreen, at a time when the complex nature of social mobility remains as important as ever.”

Republic Pictures President Dan Cohen underscored that the company is “committed to providing a platform for films with the potential to stir conversation and impact culture,” adding, “we are incredibly proud to work with Chiwetel Ejiofor and this esteemed producing team to support such an important project.”

Republic Pictures is coming off its acquisition of Edward Burns’ Millers In Marriage, starring Julianna Margulies, Gretchen Mol, Minnie Driver and Morena Baccarin, late last week.

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