Jackson May Take ‘Day’ Job for Paramount

Augsut 25, 2003
by Zorianna Kit

Samuel L. Jackson is in early negotiations to star as controversial Richmond (Calif.) High School basketball coach Ken Carter in Paramount Pictures’ “Back in the Day,” with studio-based MTV Films and Tollin/Robbins Productions producing.

Thomas Carter, no relation to the coach, will direct the project, due to begin production later this year.

“Day” would reunite Jackson with Paramount, for whom he starred in the 2000 features “Shaft” and “Rules of Engagement” as well as the upcoming Philip Kaufman-directed thriller “The Blackout Murders.”

Last year, the studio optioned the coach’s life rights and those of his son Damon and hired Mark Schwahn to write the screenplay (HR 6/13). Helmer Carter came aboard in May (HR 5/30)

Coach Carter made national news in 1999 when he benched his entire undefeated basketball team for poor academic performance. He forfeited two league games and made the gym off-limits until students raised their grades, a move that drew praise and criticism from parents and school officials.

His son was one of the members of the 1999 team who went on to earn four-year athletic scholarships. His was to West Point.

Jackson, who currently stars onscreen in Columbia Pictures’ “S.W.A.T.,” recently wrapped shooting “Country of My Skull” for director John Boorman and is currently filming “Star Wars: Episode III.”

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