1 of 6 | Erika Alexander stars as Coraline and Jeffrey Wright as Thelonious "Monk" Ellison in writer/director Cord Jefferson’s "American Fiction," an Orion Pictures release. Photo by Claire Folger/Orion Releasing LLC
Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Orion Pictures released the first photos from the set of American Fiction, a comedy/drama about a Black novelist struggling with his identity written and directed by Cord Jefferson.
The film premieres Friday at the Toronto International Film Festival and in theaters in November. It is based on the novel Erasure by Percival Everett and marks Jefferson's directorial debut.
American Fiction stars Jeffrey Wright as Thelonious "Monk" Ellison.
"American Fiction is Cord Jefferson's hilarious directorial debut, which confronts our culture's obsession with reducing people to outrageous stereotype," a synopsis of the film reads.
"Jeffrey Wright stars as Monk, a frustrated novelist who's fed up with the establishment profiting from 'Black' entertainment that relies on tired and offensive tropes. To prove his point, Monk uses a pen name to write an outlandish 'Black' book of his own, a book that propels him to the heart of hypocrisy and the madness he claims to disdain."
The film also features Ellis Ross, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander, Leslie Uggams, Adam Brody, Issa Rae and Sterling K. Brown.
It is produced by Ben LeClair, Nikos Karamigios, Jefferson and Jermaine Johnson. Rian Johnson, Ram Bergman and Percival Everett are executive producers.
Jefferson, who won a writing Emmy for Watchmen, said he connected with the novel and knew he wanted to adapt it for film.
"There is a real poverty of imagination when it comes to people's perceptions of what Black life looks like," Jefferson told Vanity Fair. "It's this idea that 'I don't understand how this represents Black people if there's not some misery associated with it.' I reject that."