The book left an indelible mark on many, including the late Dr. Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey, whose Harpo Production company stated: “This book would make a great film adaptation.”
That’s a testament to hard work. Telling an authentic story was Nero’s goal and that authenticity is drawn right from his backyard. Nero, who lost three brothers to violence in New Orleans, was adamant about keeping it real to his readership. “When I wrote the book, I didn’t know what people were going to get from it honestly until they told me what they received from it,” said Nero. “I wrote the book for me and I honestly didn’t know that it was going to touch people, but the people who read the book started telling me it inspired them. I grew up that way.”
Nero’s authentic storytelling caught the eye of Willie D. Burton, a two time Oscar winner, who also happens to be an Academy Award winner, as well. Burton has worked on major Hollywood game changers like The Color Purple, Shawshank Redemption, Dreamgirls, The Green Mile, Selma, The Pursuit of Happiness and most recently Straight Outta Compton. Fast forward to 2015, the movie is in pre-production and is slated to be released next year. Many folks thought that it would be virtually impossible to produce an African American movie with an all-black cast; a myth debunked by folks like Tyler Perry with his Madea series of films. Bigger than having an all-black cast, the theme is universal, something that Burton is certain will win over viewers. “For me we want to inspire people,” said Burton. “Living in certain conditions and circumstances, whether they live in the projects or affluent communities; we want to inspire people and show them that there’s a way out.”
According to the production braintrust, they’ve sought out top producers out of Atlanta and are partnering on this project with the Enough Abuse Campaign, a multi-state child sexual abuse prevention initiative, and Men Stopping Violence, a national domestic violence prevention program. Both will help Cheekie supporters take preventive actions to address these problems in their homes and communities. All of these initiatives will coincide with the movie that is said to drop by spring of next year. “I hope the movie does the same thing the book does, which is inspire people,” said Nero.
For more info on the film to find out more about how to get involved please contact Love@LoveLoganProductionsLLC.