October 5, 2009

Winfrey producing Rock’s ‘Friend’ film

Lionsgate and Harpo Films announced Monday they are developing a film called, Will You Be My Black Friend? starring U.S. comedian Chris Rock.

The project is based on a magazine article of the same name written by GQ senior correspondent Devin Friedman. Published in the magazine's November 2008 issue, Will You Be My Black Friend? chronicles Friedman's unorthodox and admittedly self-conscious quest to make black friends, the companies said in a news release.

The producers of Will You Be My Black Friend? are Oprah Winfrey, Kate Forte, president of Harpo Films, and Carla Gardini, senior vice president of production at Harpo Films. Lionsgate is to distribute the movie worldwide.

Forte made the announcement jointly with Joe Drake, Lionsgate's co-chief operating officer, and Mike Paseornek, Lionsgate's president of motion picture production.

We're thrilled to continue our relationship with Oprah Winfrey and Harpo Films by bringing 'Will You Be My Black Friend?' to the screen. 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, Paseornek said. 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.