Sanaa Lathan’s Paramount+ Movie ‘On the Come Up’ Gets Theatrical Release After TIFF Debut
12th September 2022

Thanks to a successful launch at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Sanaa Lathan-directed movie “On the Come Up” has nabbed a day-and-date theatrical release from Paramount.

Initially set to launch exclusively on Paramount+ on Friday, Sept. 23, the studio announced Monday that the film will now also be released in limited theaters across the top 50 market.

The movie marks the feature directorial debut from Lathan, who pulls double duty on the project, co-starring in the film as Jayda “Jay” Jackson, mother to the story’s central character Bri (newcomer Jamila C. Gray, who Lathan hand-picked out of more than 200 audition tapes).

Based on the best-selling 2019 YA novel by Angie Thomas (“The Hate U Give”), “On the Come Up” follows Bri, a talented 16-year-old high school student who dreams of making it big in the world of battle rap, with aims to lift up her family and honor the legacy of her father — a local hip-hop legend whose career was cut short by gang violence. But when her first song creates unintended controversy, Bri must figure out how to find her authentic voice — despite what other people think — to truly make it big in the business.

The coming-of-age film also stars Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Lil Yachty, Mike Epps, Miles Gutierrez-Riley, Justin Martin, Titus Makin, Michael Cooper Jr., GaTa and Cliff “Method Man” Smith. Lathan directs from a screenplay by Kay Oyegun.

Said Paramount Pictures President of Domestic Distribution Chris Aronson: “We’re thrilled to share this incredible adaptation of Angie Thomas’s moving novel with audiences everywhere, across multiple platforms.”

“Seeing Sanaa Lathan’s visionary direction and watching the remarkably talented Jamila C. Gray and the rest of the cast light up the screen, viewers will see what we already know: that this is an exceptional film, not to be missed,” Aronson continued. “A heartfelt thanks to our partners at State Street and Temple Hill. We can’t wait to share ‘On the Come Up’ with the world on Sept. 23rd.”

The announcement comes amid a rush of good news for Lathan, who last Sunday attended the Creative Arts Emmys as a first-time nominee (for her guest spot as lawyer Lisa Arthur in “Succession”), and just four days later, “On the Come Up” made its wold premiere on the opening night of TIFF, earning glowing reviews. Variety’s Andrew Barker topped his review by writing that “Sanaa Lathan shines in her directorial debut” and “newcomer Jamila C. Gray owns the screen in this sweet-and-sour story of an aspiring teenage rapper.”

In an interview ahead of the festival, Lathan told Variety what it was like to step into the director’s chair for the first time. “Everybody keeps asking if I was nervous right before we started shooting, and I was weirdly not nervous, and I felt so comfortable on set,” she shared. “You realize after being on set for 30 years, how much you know and how much you have this point of view.”

“On the Come Up” is presented by Paramount+ in association with Paramount Pictures’ Players label. The State Street Pictures and Temple Hill production is produced by George Tillman Jr., Robert Teitel, Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen, Isaac Klausner, Thomas and Timothy M. Bourne, and executive produced by John Fischer.

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