MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -The new movie, “Brian Banks” is scheduled to hit screens across America this week with connections to Memphis.
The movie was filmed right here in the Bluff City during 2017 by Director Tom Shadyac where he turned Booker T Washington High School into Long Beach, California’s Poly High.
The movie tells the tale of how the leader of the California Innocence Project played by actor Greg Kinnear worked to clear Banks’ name after he was accused of a sexual assault.
“... In 2002 at age 16 on my way to playing football for USC on a full scholarship, I had 1 year left in high school," said Banks. "That all came to a screeching halt when I was wrongfully accused of sexual assault.”
Shadyac says he was able to meet the real Bryan Banks to hear his real life story of redemption.
“It moved me. I read the script. I had been teaching at the University of Memphis and LeMoyne Owen College and it felt like some of the kids I was blessed to teach," said Shadyac.
Shadyac made his mark in Hollywood making comedies with Jim Carey in his Pet Detective films and with Eddie Murphy’s Nutty Professor.
Now Shadyac is teaching kids in Memphis that they can overcome their obstacles much like Banks. He has invested $11 million into Memphis Rox, a climbing gym for kids.
“Kids need a safe place to recreate in this neighborhood," said Shadyac. "They need the consistancy of relationships . They’re meeting kids from all over Memphis. Kids come from East memphis. They meet kids from south memphis they never would’ve met.”
“Brian Banks” debuts Thursday night at MALCO Paradiso along with a charity fundraiser.
If you’d like to contribute to Memphis Rox, visit http://www.memphisrox.org to learn more about the non-profit and make a contribution.