Real-Life Drama Fruitvale Goes to Weinstein Company

Ryan Coogler’s drama Fruitvale, based on the last day in the life of 22-year-old Oscar Grant before he was shot dead on New Year’s Day 2009 by the transit police at a BART subway stop in Oakland, California, has gotten a lot of attention this past weekend at the Sundance Film Festival with more than a few comparisons to previous Sundance hits Precious and Beasts of the Southern Wild, both which went on to receive Best Picture nominations.

According to Deadline and other sources, The Weinstein Company has won the bid and is negotiating a deal for the rights to release the movie for somewhere between $2 and 3 million.

Grant himself is played by Chronicle star Michael B. Jordan, joined by Oscar winner Octavia Spencer (The Help), Melonie Diaz, Ahna O’Reilly, Kevin Durand and Chad Michael Murray. The police shooting caused quite a stir in the Bay Area when it occurred because it was captured on cell phone cameras with no one agreeing whether the shooting was necessary. The transit police officer Johannes Mehserle resigned after being charged with murder and in November 2010 was sentenced to two years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.

According to the Deadline story, The Weinstein Company won the bid to release the movie against multiple bidders including Fox Searchlight, Focus Features, CBS Films and Paramount Pictures.

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