The story of Brian Banks, a former Poly High School football star whose plans to play in the NFL were derailed by a wrongful rape conviction at age 17, will be in theaters this summer.
The film is scheduled to be released Aug. 9, 2019. It stars Aldis Hodge (“Straight Outta Compton” and “Hidden Figures”) in the title role, as well as Greg Kinnear, who plays his attorney.
The film premiered in September at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
“The opposite of a #MeToo movie, Brian Banks is definitely swimming against the current,” The Hollywood Reporter noted in its review of the film. “[…] if the film contributes to ongoing and necessary dialogue about sexual misconduct, it will have served its purpose,” the review went on to say.
Banks pleaded no contest to rape in 2002 after being falsely accused by his classmate. He was a junior in high school and had already committed to playing for USC.
The now 33-year-old was imprisoned for more than five years with a five-year parole during which he was ordered to wear a GPS tracking device.
Four years into his parole sentence, he was able to prove his innocence when he recorded his accuser admitting to lying about the rape. She had reached out to help to make amends.
In 2012, his conviction was overturned with the help of the California Innocence Project.
In 2013, he signed with the Atlanta Falcons, a contract that lasted only a few months and saw him playing a handful of pre-season games.
Since then, Banks has been outspoken about his experience and advocates for others who are wrongfully convicted—whether on social media or at speaking events. In January of this year, Banks teamed with a former prosecutor for a new mini-series that helps wrongfully convicted individuals called “Final Appeal” on the Oxygen cable channel. In November, Banks announced that he signed a book deal with Atria Publishing Group.
Stephanie Rivera covers immigration and the north, west and central parts of Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter at @StephRivera88.
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