Kimberly Elise Joins Cuba Gooding Jr. In TNT Original GIFTED HANDS: THE BEN CARSON STORY, A JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION(R) Movie
Film Based on Neurosurgeon's Inspirational Memoir
Award-winning actress Kimberly Elise (The Great Debaters, The Manchurian Candidate) has signed on to join Oscar(R) winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire) in the upcoming TNT Original movie GIFTED HANDS: THE BEN CARSON STORY, according to an announcement today by Michael Wright, senior vice president in charge of the Content Creation Group for TNT, TBS and TCM. In the JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION(R), Elise is set to play the role of Sonya Carson, a single mother who inspired her son to study and work hard so that he could rise above their inner-city roots, eventually becoming a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon.
"Kimberly is an outstanding actress whose passion comes through in every role she plays," Wright said. "We are thrilled to have her on board for what is certain to be a very stirring film."
Two-time NAACP Image Award winner Elise has garnered critical acclaim for her performances in such high-profile films as Beloved, John Q, The Manchurian Candidate, Diary of a Mad Black Woman and, most recently, The Great Debators. She also co-starred in the acclaimed television series Close to Home.
A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Elise began acting professionally on stage in her hometown of Minneapolis. After moving to Los Angeles, she made her television debut on the series In the House. She quickly made the leap to feature films with a role in Set It Off and soon received a CableACE for her outstanding performance in The Ditchdigger's Daughters. Since then, she has co-starred in the television films The Loretta Claiborne Story and Bojangles and the feature films Pride, Bait and Woman Thou Art Loosed. She earned stellar reviews for her performance as Beneatha in the Williamstown Theater Festival production of A Raisin in the Sun.
GIFTED HANDS is based on the memoir of Dr. Benjamin S. Carson (Gooding), who overcame an impoverished childhood and trouble in school to become a best-selling author and director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children's Center. In the film, Elise plays Carson's mother, Sonya, a single parent struggling to raise her two boys and secure a better future for them. Even though she can't read, she understands the importance of education and motivates her sons to study, use their imaginations and believe in themselves.
GIFTED HANDS comes to TNT from Sony Pictures Television, MAGNA Global Entertainment, Thomasfilm and The Hatchery LLC. Dan Angel (TNT's Door to Door), Margaret Loesch (Benji: Off the Leash), Bruce Stein (The Haunting Hour: Don't Think About It), Erin Keating and Thomas Carter (Coach Carter) serve as executive producers on the project. The script for GIFTED HANDS was written by John Pielmeier and will be directed by Carter. The Hatchery optioned the book GIFTED HANDS and brought the project and Carter to TNT and Sony Pictures Television.
GIFTED HANDS is the 10th TNT Original to be produced under the JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION(R) movie banner, which was initiated by Interpublic's MAGNA Global Entertainment. Johnson & Johnson has long supported the creation of quality programming, and through the JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION(R) movie series, the company's advertising affiliate has collaborated with TNT to bring inspirational stories to the American viewing public.
About MAGNA Global Entertainment
MAGNA Global Entertainment (MGE), part of The Interpublic Group of Companies, is a market leader in the creation of integrated branded content. Leveraging its expertise in content development, brand planning, marketing, and content distribution, MGE brings together top flight talent, distribution partners, and Fortune 500 companies to create powerful branded entertainment experiences that connect, engage, and interact with viewers at every touchpoint. Notable successes include the four-time Emmy-nominated JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION(R) movie The Wool Cap and the six-time Emmy-winning JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION(R) movie Door to Door; the critically acclaimed hit series The Restaurant on NBC and Blow Out on Bravo; and the CBS television movie Saving Milly, sponsored by members of the Family Friendly Programming Forum.
About Sony Pictures Television
Sony Pictures Television is one of the television industry's leading content providers. It produces and distributes programming in every genre, including series, telefilms, theatrical releases and family entertainment for network and cable television, as well as first-run and off-network series for syndication. With more than 25 programs on the air, SPT boasts a program slate that includes the top-rated daytime dramas and game shows, landmark off-network series, original animated series and critically acclaimed primetime dramas, comedies and telefilms. SPT also owns one-half of cable channel GSN and is a partner in FEARnet, the premier horror/thriller website and VOD service. Sony Pictures Television oversees all of Sony Pictures Entertainment's (SPE) domestic digital distribution efforts across all electronically delivered platforms, including the internet and mobile. Sony Pictures Television, advertiser sales, is one of the premiere national advertising sales companies, handling the commercial inventory in SPT syndicated series as well as in all of SPE's digital businesses in the United States, for Sony BMG and for the Tennis Channel, and is part owner of national media sales company ITN Networks, Inc. SPT (www.sonypicturestelevision.com) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.
About The Hatchery LLC
The Hatchery LLC develops and produces family entertainment for all media. Included in its slate of projects in the works is R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour, a trilogy of movies based on the best-selling author's hit book of the same title; a multiple television-movie adaptation of the V.C. Andrews series of novels (Flowers in the Attic, Ruby, The Runaways); the world's largest and longest running paperback original franchise; a movie and television series based on one of the top 100 best-selling book series The Great Brain; and a theatrical remake of Leslie Bricasse's beloved musical Scrooge, based on the Dickens's classic. In December 2004, American Greetings Corporation (NYSE: AM), one of the world's largest manufacturers of social expression products, acquired a significant ownership stake in The Hatchery.
Turner Network Television (TNT), television's destination for drama and one of cable's top-rated networks, offers original series, including the acclaimed and highly popular detective drama The Closer, starring Kyra Sedgwick; Saving Grace, starring Holly Hunter; Raising the Bar, starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Gloria Reuben and Jane Kaczmarek; Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton; and Trust Me, with Eric McCormack and Tom Cavanagh. TNT is also home to powerful one-hour dramas, such as Bones, Cold Case, Law & Order, Without a Trace, ER and Charmed; broadcast premiere movies; compelling prime-time specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards(R); and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR and the NBA. TNT is available in high-definition.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.