Oprah, Chris Rock to make Black Friend

(EUR) Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films and Lionsgate have partnered to develop Will You Be My Black Friend, a film – to star Chris Rock – based on a November 2008 GQ magazine article of the same name.

The article chronicled GQ senior correspondent Devin Friedman’s unorthodox and admittedly self-conscious quest to make “black friends.”

“The cinematic potential of Will You Be My Black Friend jumped out at us immediately; after all, Devin launches his search for black friends by posting an ad on Craigslist,” said Lionsgate Co-Chief Operating Officer and Motion Picture Group President, Mike Paseornek. “But what really makes the piece special is Devin’s voice, which is honest, astute and extremely funny. We can’t imagine a better actor to help bring this story to life than Chris Rock, who is simply one of the smartest, boldest comic talents working today.”

In the film version, a white, married journalist living in Manhattan comes to the unnerving realization one night at a cocktail party that virtually his entire social circle is white. Indeed his entire existence has become steeped in a certain style of “whiteness”: a rarefied industry (publishing); a weekend house in the Catskills; yoga; ambient music; and seasonal gourmet cooking. With help of the internet, a “white guy” sets off on a humorous journey to make “black friends,” only to discover that regardless of race, the older you get, the harder it is to make friends.

Producers of the film are Oprah Winfrey, Kate Forte, President of Harpo Films, and Carla Gardini, Senior Vice President, Production of Harpo Films. Lionsgate will distribute worldwide.

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