News: Forest Whitaker Street Sweeps "Brick City" In New Doc [Video]

Saturday, Aug 29, 2009 10:00AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker has announced plans to debut a five-part series called "Brick City" next month showing viewers an in-depth look at the daily struggles of Newark, New Jersey citizens and their mayor, Cory Booker.

Whitaker will reportedly take over the project as an executive producer.

In what sounds like a non-fiction answer to The Wire, the Sundance Channel will produce "Brick City," a docu-series set to explore the issues facing Newark, N.J. through first-hand access to citizens, local officials and the city itself. Forest Whitaker, still hot from his Oscar for The Last King of Scotland, has emerged as the requisite celebrity backer of the series, though his role outside of a executive producer remains unclear (there is a voice-over possibility). The series will be co-directed by Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin, and will pivot around a number of the ills the city faces, be it institutionalized corruption or environmental concerns. (Paste Magazine)

The documentary will also be split between examining Mayor Booker and bringing viewers into the personal lives of Newark citizens.

In the five one-hour episodes of "Brick City", the lives of Mayor Booker and Police Director Garry McCarthy intertwine with Jayda, Blood gang member turned youth mentor, who lives with her Crip boyfriend Creep, and other citizens on the front lines. With unprecedented access to both the powerful and the disenfranchised, the series organically brings to life the true challenges and adventures of social transformation. From City Hall to the streets, it creates a vivid portrait of a city at a critical moment in history. (Reuters)

Aside from the documentary, Forest will be sharing screen time soon alongside 50 Cent in the horror film re-make, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.

Director Abel Ferrara is taking another walk on the wild side with a re-imagining of Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which will be contemporized and titled Jekyll and Hyde. Forest Whitaker and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson are attached to play the lead roles in the classic tale about a doctor who invents a potion that unleashes his violent alter ego. (Variety)

Whitaker has also been cast to star in an upcoming film called Hurricane Season with Lil Wayne and Bow Wow.

"I just finished shooting a movie with Forest too," Wayne said in an interview earlier this summer. "He's a very serious guy. I just spoke to him before he went out there, and he was like, 'You did good in the movie.' Then he goes out there and sings that. I'm like, 'Wow.' Everything was wonderful and just doing it in New Orleans, it being a true story and just contributing in any kind of way, it was great for me." (MTV)

"Brick City" kicks-off on Monday, September 21st at 10 p.m. EST on the Sundance Channel.

For more scenes from "Brick City," just click here.

Peep a trailer for the upcoming documentary below:

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