Sanaa Lathan is about to make her directorial debut with “On the Come Up,” which is scheduled to have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month. And thanks to a trailer, which debuted during Sunday night’s Video Musical Awards on MTV, we’ve got our first look at the film which will exclusively play on exclusively arrive on Paramount+ on Friday, Sept. 23 in the U.S., Canada, Italy, and later in the year in additional international territories.
Based on a young adult novel by Angie Thomas, who also wrote “The Hate U Give,” “On the Come Up” stars newcomer Jamila C. Gray as “Bri, a 16-year-old gifted rapper, who attempts to take the battle rap scene by storm in order to lift up her family and do right by the legacy of her father – a local hip hop legend whose career was cut short by gang violence. But when her first hit song goes viral for all the wrong reasons, she finds herself torn between the authenticity that got her this far and the false persona that the industry wants to impose upon her” (according to the official synopsis).
The movie, with shades of “8 Mile” and Joseph Kahn’s underseen “Bodied,” also stars Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Lil Yachty, Mike Epps, Miles Gutierrez-Riley, Justin Martin, Titus Makin, Michael Cooper Jr., GaTa, Sanaa Lathan and Cliff “Method Man” Smith.
Lathan directs from a screenplay by Kay Oyegun. “On the Come Up” is produced by George Tillman, Jr., Robert Teitel, Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen, Isaac Klausner, Angie Thomas and Timothy M. Bourne and executive produced by John Fischer. The original novel was a #1 New York Times bestseller.