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Cuba Gooding Jr Is An Ex-con Teaching Inner-City Kids Chess In First Trailer For 'Life Of A King'

by Natasha Greeves
December 10, 2013 6:59 PM
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Millennium Entertainment will release the drama Life of a King starring Cuba Gooding Jr., in theaters on January 17, 2014.

Directed by Jake Goldberger from a script penned by Goldberger, David Scott and Dan Wetzel, the film is based on the true story of Eugene Brown, who, after being incarcerated for eighteen years, established the Big Chair Chess Club for black youth in the Washington, DC area. The film tells his inspirational story.

The official synopsis reads:

Life of a King is the unlikely true story of Eugene Brown and his one-man mission to give inner-city kids of Washington D.C. something he never had – a future. He discovered a multitude of life lessons through the game of chess during his 18-year incarceration for bank robbery. After his release and reentry into the workforce, Eugene developed and founded the Big Chair Chess Club to get kids off the streets and working towards lives they never believed they were capable of due to circumstances. From his daring introductory chess lessons to group of unruly high school students in detention to the development of the Club and the teens’ first local chess competitions, this movie reveals his difficult, inspirational journey and how he changed the lives of a group of teens with no endgame.

Gooding stars as Brown, and he's joined by Malcolm Mays, Richard T. Jones, Paula Jai Parker, Carlton Byrd, LisaGay Hamilton, Dennis Haysbert, Kevin Hendricks, Pepi Sonuga, Jordan Calloway and Rachel Thomas.

The film premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival this year. 

Life of a King is produced by Serena Films’ Tatiana Kelly and Animus Films’ Jim Young

S&A gave you an exclusive first look at the film's release poster last week. The film's first trailer has now been released and is embedded below:

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  • CareyCarey | February 17, 2014 6:44 PMReply

    The Great Debater in the hood... and I loved it. Yes, it was sappy(ish) melodrama. Yes, it was "us" against "them". Yes, there was the stereotypical school room full of rostabousts in the inner city school and the teacher hell bent on saving them (think Precious). And like the film The Great Debater, the black students were up against insurmountable odds (white establishment and racism). But also like Precious and TGD, the acting was... well... great. Even Cuba Gooding Jr. was very convincing as the ex-con who came back to the neighborhood to redeem himself and make amends to his family. Yep, Sergio may call this a castor oil flick, I'll simply calling it good family entertainment with a message that I'd recommend. 4 STARS

  • Geneva Girl | December 12, 2013 6:18 AMReply

    I haven't been a fan of Cuba Gooding Jr.'s, but I must say that this looks intriguing. I like that it's not a white knight (no pun intended) coming into save black kids. I will check this out.

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