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Taraji P. Henson to Make Directorial Debut with High School Comedy ‘Two-Faced’

The high school comedy explores race and culture in the US.

FILE - Taraji P. Henson attends the FOX All Star party at the Television Critics Association Winter press tour on Jan. 7, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif. Henson will host a new podcast series focused on the story behind the New Jack Swing music era. Wondery and Universal Music Group announced Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, that Henson will host "Jacked: The Rise of New Jack Swing." The six-part series will premiere Nov. 17 on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and the Wondery App. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Taraji P. Henson

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Taraji P. Henson, best known for her Oscar-nominated role in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and for starring in “Empire,” is getting behind the camera for the first time. BRON Studios announced Thursday it is producing her directorial debut, “Two-Faced,” a high school comedy that explores racism and culture.

Here’s the official synopsis from the studio: “‘Two-Faced’ follows Joy, a Black high school senior whose chances to attend the college of her dreams are threatened by her wildly popular and charismatic school principal, Jerald, after she confronts him with evidence of his racist past. With the help of her friends, Joy sets out to expose Jerald for who he truly is but quickly learns that he is not above waging all-out-war against the students trying to take him down.”

In addition to directing and producing through her TPH Entertainment, Henson will star in the movie as Joy’s mother. No additional cast or release date has been announced.

“After two decades spent in front of the camera, I’m thrilled to finally jump behind it for my feature directorial debut!” Henson said in a statement. “What first attracted me to this project was Joy – she is the character I needed to see in films growing up, but never had. It’s important that stories be told from a woman’s point of view and partnering with BRON Studios and the amazingly talented Tim Story – both who use their platforms to help elevate women and people of color – feels like the perfect match. I can’t wait to bring this hilariously heartfelt script by Cat Wilkins to life!”

Wilkins, a former journalist, recently graduated from UCLA’s screenwriting MFA program. “Two-Faced” won first place in the feature comedy category at the school’s 2020 Screenwriters Showcase.

Also producing are Sharla Sumpter Bridgett (“Coach Carter”), Aaron L. Gilbert (“Bombshell”) on behalf of BRON, and Tim Story (“Ride Along”) on behalf of The Story Company. Executive Producers are Wilkins, Christine Conley, and Trent Hubbard.

“I could not be more excited to support one of the most talented people I have ever known,” Story said. “Taraji and I have done three movies together and I knew it was only a matter of time before she would make this leap to directing and I am honored to produce this film along with BRON Studios. Taraji is like family to me and I cannot wait for everyone to see her directorial vision of this hilarious script by Cat Wilkins brought to the screen.”

Gilbert offered: “Taraji is an important voice in the world and BRON is thrilled to support her directorial debut, of a script from Cat Wilkins, that through its comedic elements examines race and culture in America. We also look forward to working with Taraji’s long-time collaborator Tim Story and the rest of the team behind the film.”

Henson rose to fame after her breakout performance in Sundance favorite “Hustle & Flow.” She earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role in 2008’s “Benjamin Button,” and praise for her performance in the Oscar-nominated “Hidden Figures.” She recently wrapped her series regular role in “Empire,” which earned her two Emmy nods.

BRON Releasing and UTA Independent Film Group will oversee film sales and distribution. Henson is represented by M88, UTA, Ziffren Brittenham and The Lede Company. Wilkins is represented by UTA and Echo Lake Entertainment. Story and The Story Company are repped by UTA, Ziffren Brittenham and The Collins Jackson Agency.

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