I hope to have a review of this on the site soon (we’re not at Sundance this year, unfortunately). But, while you wait, you should know that, immediately after its premiere at the ongoing Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT, my Twitter feed was buzzing with nothing but praise for it! It reminded me of the same feverish post-premiere reactions to “Dear White People” after its Sundance premiere a year ago. The icing on the cake in this case is that there was reportedly a bidding war for the film, that begun after its premiere, with Open Road Films and Sony making the winning bid that gives them US & international distribution rights to the film.
How much, you ask? $7 million, with $15 million to be spent on P&A costs, making it the most expensive deal made at Sundance, so far, this year. Apparently, almost every mini-major, or studio indie subsidiary wanted the film. So, by all accounts, it looks like we’ll be talking a lot about Rick Famuyiwa’s “Dope” throughout this year – at least, until whenever it’s released (no info on dates yet, but it’ll likely be some time later this year).
Zoë Kravitz, Keith Stanfield, Kimberly Elise, rap stars A$AP Rocky and Tyga all appear in the new feature film by Famuyiwa (“The Wood,” “Brown Sugar,” “Our Family Wedding”), which is described as a coming of age story about geeks growing up in Inglewood, California, trying to avoid gangs, drugs, and crime.
Starring Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori and Kiersey Clemons, the film follows a trio of best friends who are also in their own hip hop – punk band.
Further, from the official synopsis: “Malcolm is a high school geek with a high-top fade, carefully navigating life in The Bottoms, one of the toughest neighborhoods in Inglewood, California. He and his fellow outcasts share a voracious appreciation for all things ’90s hip-hop, opting to sport Cross-Colours and Z. Cavariccis at the risk of being clowned at school. He dreams of attending Harvard, but first he has to make it home every day. When a drug dealer takes a shine to Malcolm and invites him to his birthday party, Malcolm’s crew is swirled into a hilarious blender of offbeat characters and bad choices where redemption can only be found in Bitcoin.”
Significant Productions’ Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi (“Fruitvale Station”) are producing the film, which will feature original music by Pharrell Williams.
Watch the film’s trailer below: