Octavia Spencer Will Battle Kevin Costner For Custody In Drama 'Black And White'

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by Tambay A. Obenson
May 8, 2013 11:21 AM
14 Comments
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Octavia Spencer will star alongside Kevin Costner in a drama titled Black And White, which IM Global is taking to Cannes to sell to international distributors.

Written and directed by and actor Mike Binder, the film, which Costner is coproducing with Binder and Todd Lewis, centers on Elliot Anderson (Costner) an attorney widowed after his wife dies in a car crash, and who also is raising his bi-racial granddaughter Eloise, since his daughter died in childbirth. As he struggles with his grief, Elliot’s world is turned upside-down when the child’s African American grandmother Rowena (played by Octavia Spencer) demands that Eloise be brought under the care of her African American father Reggie, a drug addict who Elliot blames for the negligence that led to the death of his own daughter. Elliot finds himself deeply entrenched in a custody battle and will stop at nothing to keep his granddaughter from coming under the watch of his reckless son-in-law. 

So obviously some "race-play" here, if the title didn't give it away, in part. Too bad the father has to be a drug addict to complicated matters further. 

The film is further described as a searing portrayal of a broken man caught up in a struggle clouded by bitterness, blame and racial tension, who learns to forgive and how to provide for the only family he has left.

No word yet on what actor will play the African American drug addict father. 

Cassian Elwes will executive produce, with principal photography scheduled to begin this summer in New Orleans.

Up next for the busy Ms Spencer, Diablo Cody's directorial debut, and Fruitvale Station to name a few.

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14 Comments

  • Tian Richards | May 22, 2013 5:35 PMReply

    I love to see either Amandla Stenberg from Colombiana and The Hunger Games or Erica Gluck (Brittany) from The Game in the role of the bi-racial granddaughter. Depending on the age. There are too many selections to choose from for the drug addict father. I would think a younger guy since Octavia will be the grandma and they probably will age her I'm hoping like Taraji in Benjamin Button.

  • Kelea | May 10, 2013 2:45 AMReply

    SIGH...

  • Melissaenafrique | May 9, 2013 8:36 PMReply

    Was Kevin inspired by the Bobby Brown/Whitney/Bobbi C. situation?
    Bobby Brown - the druggie
    Whitney - the 'innocent flower' who wilts away
    Bobbi Christina - the daughter who some crazy ppl were suggesting should be adopted by her mother's romantic co-star Kevin.... lol.

  • Kelea | May 10, 2013 2:44 AM

    Never heard that but I'm pretty sure this is just a rehash of Losing Isaiah.

  • ScriptTease | May 9, 2013 3:08 AMReply

    I'm sure this will be a fantastic movie, but honestly and truly do not care to see it. I'm tired of the "race" related and gangbanging movies.

  • wordblaze | May 8, 2013 11:07 PMReply

    hold up. Octavia Spencer is 42 years old. 2 years older than me. She's WHO'S grandmother? Huh? Why why why? When when when? I'm sure Octavia has sexual urges, flirtations, gets hit on, approached by men allll the damn time. When is a movie gonna reflect that? So if you are of a certain size...(of which i hear/see she is no longer- thanks sensa!! lol) I guess you fall right into grandma role...i actually thought for a second it was a custody battle between Octavia and Kevin over THEIR children. But that would mean they had sex...and GOD forbid someone think someone would have sex AND make a baby with her. oh wait. they did. she had a baby like a hundred years ago and THAT baby is a drunk now, right? no wait. druggie. Okay forget it. problem solved. i guess.

  • Luce | May 9, 2013 9:01 PM

    I have to agree with your outburst. I thought it was a custody battle between Kevin and Octavia, also. I told myself, wow! He's going there. I was ready to watch how Costner would have played that. But...
    Same old, same old.
    But CareyCarey has a point about the son. It doesn't say anywhere that he's a dirt poor, in the projects (or on the streets) drug addict. We're assuming the worse. I'm use to the worse, though.

  • Donella | May 8, 2013 8:49 PMReply

    Losing Isaiah.

  • Ashley | May 8, 2013 4:39 PMReply

    That picture is everything.

  • CareyCarey | May 8, 2013 1:04 PMReply

    OUCH! There are too many questions still on the table.

    First, I am reminded of the comments (Darkan & ESHOWOMAN'S comments) in "The Butler" post. In particular, films about black people that are not made for black people usually have a certain slant which is intended to bring the white audience into the theatre. Could this film be another example of that?

    I don't know, but based on this limited information (if it quacks like a duck) Kevin Costner might be dealing from the bottom of the deck.

    However, aside from that angle, it behooves me to dig a little deeper. How did the grandfather obtain custody in the first place? Normally the father automatically retains custody of HIS child. So are we to assume -- since the father is an alleged drug addict -- that he was temporarily indisposed? Oh maybe, could there have been a verbal agreement between the father and grandfather? You know, maybe the father asked his father-n-law to care for his daughter while he took care of his business of getting himself together? And now the grandfather is now reneging on their agreement?

    Even more confusing is Octavia Spencer's part in this gumbo? I wonder if it has anything to do with the financial positions of the concerned parties? Granted, the drug issue is a concern but in most parental custody cases, that's seldom a deciding factor on whether or not a parent has to surrender their child. Drug use alone, seldom classifies a person as an unfit parent. If the "complainant" can prove the child is being "harmed" by said drug usage, that's another story.

    With that understanding, I still don't understand how Kevin's character has more rights than Octavia's? Is that where the money issue raises its ugly head? Is it possible that Rowena has a bank of her own, and thus, can support her son as he raises his daughter? But wait, just because the son has a drug problem, does not mean he's destitute. Damn, so many questions.

    On a similar note, although I don't know all the particulars, but the NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade (with his 20 million dollar yearly contract) won his custody battle. Was money a deciding factor? You know, in this day and age, women seldom lose their children to the father, it seldom happens. So again, anyway, what's really going on in this movie?

  • regi | May 8, 2013 12:19 PMReply

    1) the photo is stunning, but i'm not quite sure what to make of the tear...
    2) the plot is, indeed, overly familiar by now, but it goes right in line with binder's (and costner's) ever-so-slightly eccentric exploration (exploitation?) of upper middle-class, center-left white folks' angst (see THE UPSIDE OF ANGER): they voted for reagan, but their "heart" is with mlk. fuck 'em!

  • BeautyIAM | May 8, 2013 11:47 AMReply

    The movie sounds like a been there done that. It sounds just like Losing Isaiah. Except Halle played the drug addicted mother that eventually cleaned her act up and fought for her son who was being raised by a white family.

  • Edwina | May 8, 2013 11:41 AMReply

    You are SO right! Why must the deck be stacked against the father? Why isn't he a hard-working man who wants to step up and raise his daughter? Too afraid to take that story on, eh Kevin?
    Yes. Octavia looks fabulous here! What a face.

  • sosgemini | May 8, 2013 11:35 AMReply

    My lord that photo of Octavia is stunning.

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