Whitaker Coaching Story’s Patriots


The Weinstein Company is negotiating with Forest Whitaker to star in and Tim Story to direct Patriots, a drama that will begin production in early April, says Variety.

Whitaker would play Al Collins, basketball coach for John Ehret High in Marrero, La., who led his Patriots to the state championship a year after Katrina ravaged the school and displaced many of its students. Collins’ team consisted of 10 players who attended five different schools before the disaster.

It is the first film to firm up a start date as a direct result of an interim agreement made between the WGA and an independent studio. Patriots will complete shooting before the expiration of the SAG contract in June.

The project marks a reteam for Whitaker, The Weinstein Company and screenwriter Robert Eisele, who wrote The Great Debaters and also penned Patriots.

The studio hopes to release the movie around Thanksgiving.