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Alrick Brown ('Kinyarwanda') Adapting J.M. Benjamin's 'My Manz and ‘Em' For His Next Film

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by Tambay A. Obenson
June 4, 2012 10:42 AM
6 Comments
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Alrick Brown (director of the award-winning Kinyarwanda, released by AFFRM last fall) is set to direct an adaptation of J.M. Benjamin's 2007 novel My Manz and ‘Em, with Jamie Hector (The Wire and other projects) set to star.

The novel centers on...

... a Plainfield man sucked into a life of crime before undergoing a life-changing epiphany during and after a prison sentence.

Plainfield as in Plainfield, New Jersey.

As for what we can expect, especially for those who aren't familiar with the book, Benjamin, who previously did time in prison for drug trafficking, racketeering, conspiracy and more before becoming an author, states This is the (prototypical) urban fiction, street lit book... But this isn’t an urban fiction, street lit film.” 

His own past experiences inform his work, adding that the film will tackle idea that, as MyCentralJersey.com notes, "it’s all but inevitable for young, black men growing up in rough parts of rough towns to fall victim to “the game,” as gang and drug dealings are referred to repeatedly in The Wire and other forms of media portraying life in urban America."

Benjamin is tired of hearing/singing that song, adding, “You always have a choice.

Alrick Brown agreed, stating, “We’re going to give them (the audience) more than they would ever expect from the movie.

This will be an indie production, just like Kinyarwanda was for Brown, but he's up for the challenge, saying, This is a risk, career-wise... I’m taking the path not chosen by bypassing Hollywood ... but if I’m gambling, I’m going to bet on this team.

A team that also includes co-producer Lamar Mackson and city television producer Adam Rauscher, who adapted Benjamin’s novel.

Principal photography is scheduled to begin this summer, with actor Jamie Hector playing the lead role, Malik Jones.

It's officially on my watch list.

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6 Comments

  • kim ross "heads together salon | June 6, 2012 10:50 PMReply

    Keep your head up and swore like the eagle you are

  • Erica tolliver | June 6, 2012 7:48 PMReply

    Keep up the great work, im so proud of you, may you have much success

  • Dia | June 5, 2012 7:54 PMReply

    This a great look, congratulations JM on your many great accomplishments.

  • Dwayne Love | June 5, 2012 1:34 PMReply

    Hope to work on future projects !!!! GREAT TITLE & BODY OF WORK!

  • True Leigh Amazing | June 4, 2012 10:34 PMReply

    Finally, a true portrayal of Plainfield boys turned into men. J.M. Benjamin lived through the expirement of the projects and came out successful. Alrick Brown lived through the struggle of immigrating a large, single parent family to the States and came out successful. Lamar Mackson faced the struggle of being the well-to-do black kid who grew up in an economically struggling city. However, they can all relate to the statistics an urban city like Plainfield faces daily and the faces that represent the numbers.

  • troy | June 4, 2012 4:02 PMReply

    I humor myself with these types of movies when they come out. However it is the samething going back to boys in the hood. Everyone knows you have a choice. However the only unexplored perspective is what if the bad guy is making the right choice. If the intellectual aka junior Nancy "Justsayno" Reagan bothered to consider not just for propaganda sake to tell the story the way it is created. Nobody thinkers their the bad guy. They are all the heroes who believe they deserve to win. These stories might not be so weak and come off authentic. So killers and dealers have made it. The run legitimate businesses and the government hopes the IRS can get them. Compared to their peers who have nothing but debt and no one will remember their name i think they made the right decision. A filmaker, actor, musician, and performers are worst scum then drug dealers. dealers give you what you want at a competitive price. A performers dances like a monkey and puts their hand to charge a premium.

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