FreeRayshawn trailer

Quibi, the upcoming mobile-only streaming platform that’s offering its content in short bursts (aka “quick bites”), has been making headlines for its outlandish show concepts, like one in which model/actress/internet celebrity Chrissy Teigen serves as a court judge or a cooking show in which blindfolded contestants are shot in the face with the foods they must use to win the competition. But Quibi is making its own movies, too – and they’ve hired some top talent to participate.

Check out the trailer for one of the streaming service’s first “movies in chapters” called #FreeRayshawn, which is executive produced by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) and stars Stephan James (Homecoming) and Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix).

#FreeRayshawn Trailer

#FreeRayshawn follows in the footsteps of last year’s Queen & Slim as a story that reflects real-world dynamics specifically between black people and authoritative bodies in the United States, as well as how social media can be a powerful tool to make situations visible that would not have garnered as much attention otherwise. As a storyteller, Fuqua has always been fascinated by the individual’s response to institutional authority – his filmography is eclectic and a little all over the place in terms of quality, but you can tell it’s an idea he’s continually interested in exploring on screen. And it looks like he’s found the right script (from writer Marc Maurino) and the right actors to do it again: James is quickly becoming a must-watch performer after his work in If Beale Street Could Talk and Homecoming, and Fishburne is a cinematic legend who seems perfectly cast as an older man who tries to help James’s frenzied protagonist.

Interestingly, Quibi has two years of exclusive rights to its content, but then the service allows creators to re-edit their projects into full features and sell the rights elsewhere – something Fuqua seems especially excited about. “Someone is basically financing a film or a TV show for you on a new platform, and then for the film itself, you get to own the I.P.,” he said last year. “I can’t think of a better situation. Quibi is basically paying for a film, and then in a few years time, you get to own it. It’s incredible.”

Here’s the official synopsis:

#FREERAYSHAWN tells the story of a young, black Iraq War veteran named Rayshawn (Stephan James) who is set up by New Orleans police on a drug deal, runs for his life, and takes refuge inside his apartment building with his girlfriend and child. With New Orleans PD and the SWAT team outside ready to storm his home, a social media frenzy begins as community members and news outlets arrive at the scene. During this growing mayhem, a sympathetic cop named Steven Poincy (Laurence Fishburne) plays the role of negotiator, and, over the course of one brutally stressful day, Steven tries to get Rayshawn to calmly surrender in order to avoid an escalation of unnecessary violence.

Quibi is scheduled to debut on April 6, 2020, and #FreeRayshawn will premiere on the service sometime that same month.

An earlier version of this piece incorrectly stated that Fuqua was directing this movie, when in fact it will be directed by Seith Mann. We apologize and regret the error.

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