EXCLUSIVE: Jeffrey Wright is set to star in the untitled film from MRC and T-Street based on the novel Erasure by Percival Everett. Cord Jefferson wrote the adaptation and is making his feature directorial debut.
Wright plays 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.
“Cord has masterfully captured the sharpness and irreverence of Percival’s writing and brought the characters to life with such humanity and accessibility. There is no one more well-suited than Jeffrey Wright to embody Monk’s wit and exasperation. We are honored to partner with them and T-Street to make this fresh and original film,” said MRC Film Co-Presidents Brye Adler and Jonathan Golfman.
Everett was recently named a finalist for the prestigious Booker Prize for his novel The Trees. The annual award celebrates the best works of fiction from around the world written or translated into English and published in the United Kingdom or Ireland.
“Within minutes of opening Erasure, I was overwhelmed by the novel’s profound personal and universal resonance, and shocked that something so relevant to our world today had been written decades before. I hope I can make a film that feels as meaningful to others as the book is to me. My eternal gratitude goes to MRC, T-Street, Percival Everett, and Jeffrey Wright for helping me to bring this adaptation to life,” said Jefferson.
The film is produced by T-Street’s Ben LeClair and Nikos Karamigios, 3 Arts Jermaine Johnson and Cord Jefferson. The film recently wrapped production in Boston.
“The goal of T-Street and MRC has always been about collaborating with original voices on original projects. Cord has exceeded our expectations on all fronts and we with MRC so look forward to what comes next,” said Bergman and Johnson.
Wright plays Commissioner Jim Gordon in Warner Bros. and DC Films The Batman starring Robert Pattinson. He also recently reprised his role as Bernard in HBO fourth season of Westworld.
Jefferson is best known for his critically acclaimed work on the limited series Watchmen for HBO. His other credits include Station 11 and Succession.
Jefferson is represented by CAA, 3 Arts Entertainment, and Ziffren Brittenham. Wright is represented by CAA, and the law firm of Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein.