by Greg Akers
In April, On Location: Memphis International Film Festival screened the Morgan Freeman-involved film Prom Night in Mississippi. The feature-length doc examines the racial relations in the small town of Charleston, Mississippi (pop. 2,100, "A Good Place To Live").
Charleston High School wasn't integrated until 1970. And even then the school continued the practice of holding separate white and black proms. Charleston native Freeman offered to pay for an integrated prom in 1997 but was rebuffed by the school board. He tried again in 2008 and was finally accepted. Prom Night follows Freeman's endeavor, the kids' reactions to his offer, and some of the parents' actions against it.
(Read more of the Flyer's coverage of the documentary.)
Now, The Hollywood Reporter has news that Jennifer Aniston is looking to bring a fictionalized account of the events to the big screen with Holler.
From The Hollywood Reporter:
Inspired by true events, the script centers on a biracial high school student who returns with his white mother to her hometown in Mississippi, where he falls for a white girl. When prom season arrives at the high school, he is shocked to discover that she cannot be his date at the segregated prom. He soon finds himself the catalyst for change for not only the prom but for the school and entire town.
Screening Log adds:
Things turn for the worse when he finds out she cannot hook up with him at the segregated prom. Of course, he's pretty pissed about it, and soon enough, he's immersing himself in a campaign for some much-needed change around the racist town.
So, no Morgan Freeman role? And I was so looking forward to a mind-bending, meta voiceover from the actor. Maybe as the interior monologue of a white racist character?
Aniston is currently attached only as producer, though it seems there's a juicy "white mother" role she could have. Holler is set to be directed by Dana Adam Shapiro, best known for the Oscar-nominated documentary Murderball. Read Chris Herrington's review of Murderball here (Click then scroll down.)
So, a documentary director taking on a fictional film modeled after a documentary? We've seen that show before. Hoping this turns out better.